Tough talking and decisions to make for St Albans City after missing play-offs

St Albans City manager Ian Allinson will sit down with his players after the final game of the season.

St Albans City manager Ian Allinson will sit down with his players after the final game of the season. - Credit: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO

The post-mortem into St Albans City's failure to reach the National League South play-offs will begin soon after defeat to Oxford City ended their hopes in the penultimate fixture.

Saints needed to win each of their last two games and hope results elsewhere went their way but fell to a 3-1 loss at Marsh Lane.

It was an ending that didn't seem likely in the first part of the year as Saints stormed to the top of the table, and manager Ian Allinson is not happy they have missed out.

He said: "Considering where we were in January, we were in a position where we should have gone on and made the play-offs and I’m disappointed we haven’t. 

"You can look back at the course of the season and there are things I will look back on like Devante Stanley’s leg break, last-minute goals at Dorking and Maidstone, they are all pivotal moments that would have kept the confidence going. 

"Defeats to Concord and Braintree put us on the back foot and we haven’t had a penalty in the second half of the season. 

"Up until October we were in a good vein of form. 

"These are all things we have to look at and it will take a bit of time. 

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"Maybe we overachieved in the first part of the year. 

"We weren’t good enough in the three qualifying games of the FA Cup but then we [beat] Forest Green and those games are forgotten."

Saints finish their season at Clarence Park on Saturday with the visit of Tonbridge Angels and then there will need to be some straight talking between club and players.

Allinson said: "We need to get Saturday out of the way and then we need to speak to all of the players and find out where we are. 

"We don’t know yet who wants to stay or who wants to go. 

"We’ve got a good squad and we’re just lacking in two or three positions and we need to get more goals in the team. 

"To have one player score more than the rest of the team is something we need to serious look at." 

And keeping Shaun Jeffers promises to be the most important of those conversations with the 34-goal star striker, 27 of them coming in the league, keeping his options open.

The boss said: "We have been talking to Shaun, We spoke to him at Christmas but both he and his agent asked us to respect his decision and not speak to him until the end of the season. 

"We’ve not done that and so next week we will bring him in for a meeting and see where we stand with him. 

"The club don’t want to lose him. He’s been a vital cog in this wheel and we have to do everything we can to keep him." 

As for the game at Oxford, Zak McEachran had put the hosts in front only for John Goddard to equalise.

But it was a crucial spell midway through the second half that turned the game.

Allinson said: "If Johnny Goddard’s chance on 65 minutes [that gets cleared off the line] goes in, it could have been a different game. 

"We were getting a bit anxious because we knew we had to win the game We’d just got the subs warmed up and we were ready to open up. 

"We had nothing to lose. 

"It was just disappointing they got the second when we were going to bring them on. 

"We went all out attack but it just wasn’t good enough and it is no good just looking back at today, we have to look at what’s happened over the last 10 weeks. 

"We haven’t won enough games, we’ve conceded too many and we haven’t scored enough. 

"That’s what it comes down to."