Preview: Saints vs Banbury

Greg Ngoyi scored St Albans City's first goal of the league campaign in a 2-1 loss to Poole Town. Pi

Greg Ngoyi scored St Albans City's first goal of the league campaign in a 2-1 loss to Poole Town. Picture by Bob Walkley - Credit: Archant

THE SAINTS head into Saturday’s game at home against Banbury united full of confidence after earning their first win of the season.

City opening the campaign with a loss to 2-1 Poole, in which they were dreadful, but responded on Monday with a 2-0 win over Hungerford Town. Match reports and reaction to both games on page 50.

Banbury head into Saturday’s game at Clarence Park having won their opening two fixtures. United comfortably won their opening fixture 2-0 against Chippenham Town on Saturday but needed an 88th minute goal from Kynan Isaac to beat Burnham 2-1 on Tuesday evening.

Joint manager James Gray was at the Burnham game and highlighted 6’9 striker Leon Simpson as a potential threat to the Saints.

“I’ve played against [Simpson] a few times and he is always a hand full. Banbury played a 4-5-1 formation and tried to feed him the ball and play off him.

“They were a very well organised side and had some decent players.”

He added: “There are never easy games in this league; no one is going to roll over so we’ll set up to counter what they do well.”

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Banbury finished last season 16th in league, five places behind St Albans, but just eight points off the relegation zone. Part of the reason for their struggles last season was because conceded the third most goals, shipping 75.

In a bid to finish higher, United’s manager Edwin Stein has brought in Australian goalkeeper Ben McNamara as well as midfielders Aaron Morgan and Anderson Pinto.

City have also been busy in the close season, and Gray insists his focus is on his team.

“[The results] are about what we do. If we play like we can they teams will be more worried about us, than the other way around,” he told the Herts Ad.

“Hopefully we can start the game in a positive manner because we get stronger throughout the game with the player we have on the pitch and on the bench.

“The lads just need to relax, get the ball down and play like we know they can.”

Saturday’s game at Clarence Park kicks off at 3pm.