Preview: Havant and Waterlooville vs St Albans City

Sean Shields scored the winner against Havant & Waterlooville at Clarence Park. Picture: Leigh Page

Sean Shields scored the winner against Havant & Waterlooville at Clarence Park. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

Tuesday marks a milestone for Graham Golds and James Gray as they take charge of their 100th league game at St Albans City.

And, should they win at fifth-placed Havant and Waterlooville, it would be their 50th win since taking the reins from David Howell in October 2012.

“It would be nice if we can do that, to reach that milestone,” said Gray. “It gives me something extra for my team talk, too.”

If they are to obtain win number 50, they will need a better performance than Saturday when the Saints lost 2-1 to Chelmsford City at Melbourne Park. Gray called the performance, particularly in the first half, gutless and could make changes to his starting line-up.

“It’s not going to be easy; Havant are top five so the lads have to be ready,” he told Saintsnet. “I’m sure the boys will patch themselves up. They came out with a steely determination on Saturday because I told them they had 45 minutes to prove they wanted the yellow shirt. They responded well, which is good.”

City will be without James Comley and Sam Corcoran for the second straight game. While calling them “big losses” and saying he might be forced to “freshen” the side, Gray hinted that David Keenleyside, Manny Soetan or Steve Wales could be in line for a start.

St Albans beat Havant in the first meeting of the teams. Sean Shields came off the bench to score an 83rd minute goal in the last game of his loan spell – he has since left Dagenham and Redbridge and joined Ebbsfleet.

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Lee Bradbury’s side beat Farnborough 1-0 in their last outing, extending their unbeaten run to eight in all competitions. They fielded 10 of the players who started at Clarence Park back in November in Saturday’s win.

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