“Nervy” City perform when it counts

John Frendo in a battle with Andrew Iwediuno. Picture: Leigh Page

John Frendo in a battle with Andrew Iwediuno. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

St Albans City joint manager James Gray admitted his side looked “nervy” in Monday’s win over Biggleswade Town but with so much at stake, he was feeling it too.

George Sykes scored a flukey goal in the 27th minute, profiting from an outrageous divet to leave goalkeeper Ian Brown clutching at air, but it was a game where chances were conspicuous by their absence.

“We looked nervy today but I think you can’t understand that because we were nervy on the side; it’s so important this time of year and what we’re trying to achieve and get into the play-offs – there’s such fine margins,” he said.

“I think the lads, having played so well on Saturday and coming down here in front of a big crowd, were nervous today.

“Hopefully next week we can take the shackles off and get three points in a better manner away from home. Sometimes playing away from home there is less pressure to perform, and so it has proved this season.

He added: “The lads didn’t know whether to stick or twist, especially at 1-0. Do we bomb on and try to take full advantage and leave ourselves open to the counter attack or contain what they have got and win three points?

“We’ll assess that but we got the three points which is all that matters.”

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Gray and Graham Golds, joint manager, played the same 11 that started in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Banbury and it proved to work as City were the better team throughout, according to the manager.

“It was difficult today; two games in 36 hours is never easy and we went with the same line-up so lads weren’t fresh,” said Gray.

“Then they went down to 10 men; they don’t want to come out and play so they wanted to make it difficult – so it proved today.

“Overall we were the better side, we did the running, we wanted to score, we wanted to win. Biggleswade are a tough side to break down – it’s why they’ve done well – but we knew what to expect and got the job done.”