Northern invasion planned for Clarence Park after FA Trophy progress in Brighton

Zane Banton sends St Albans City into the lead against Whitehawk in the FA Trophy. Picture: BOB WALK

Zane Banton sends St Albans City into the lead against Whitehawk in the FA Trophy. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

St Albans City will face a northern invasion in the second round of the FA Trophy after being paired at home to Harrogate Town.

That was their prize for beating Whitehawk 2-1 in a game on the south coast that assistant manager Lee Allinson described as “not pretty”.

Asthetics aside though, goals from Zane Banton and Kieran Monlouis will mean the visit of a side who are flying in the Vanarama League North.

But for Allinson being in the last 32 of the national tournament is cause for optimism.

He said: “You don’t know where this competition could take you. We could get a big crowd and it takes you away from the league and takes the pressure off.”

He was full of praise for his two goalscorers, young players who are working hard to develop.

“We feel Zane could be more effective in games for longer periods and that’s what we’re trying to get out of him,” said Allinson.

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“He’s got blistering pace when he opens up and he’s took a chance and got the goal but then goes out of the game.

“And that’s where he’s got to improve.

“Kieran’s been outstanding since he’s come back from his injury, I don’t think we won when he was out. It shows how much we needed him in the side.

“He’s took his goal well, a scrappy one but he was in the right area and that’s what we want from him.

“With his height and size and presence, he gives us a lot more in midfield since he’s come back.

“He was in and out early in the year but I think he’s been effective and warranted his place in the side.”

Next up is the start of the busy Christmas period in the league starting with Wealdstone away on Saturday before the visit of rivals Hemel Hempstead Town on Boxing Day for a 1pm kick-off.

It is hoped dad Ian will return to the dugout after a hernia operation left Lee to fly solo in the Whitehawk win.

Lee admitted: “It’s hard work on your own but the one thing you’ll get from me is passion, the same as him.

“We want to win, it ruins our weekend when we don’t.

“When we don’t work to the levels we expect, the players get told.

“We want players who will work hard for the badge and if we get that we’re halfway there.”