Saints looking to resurrect development side in the future

Zane Banton scored the equaliser against Hertford Town. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Zane Banton scored the equaliser against Hertford Town. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

St Albans City are looking to resurrect their development side in the future two years after it was disbanded.

Saints crashed out of the Herts Senior Cup on penalties to Hertford Town on Tuesday after scoring twice in the last eight minutes to force the shootout.

They only carry a small squad, one which has been hit by injury in the last few weeks, yet despite making changes from the side that picked up an impressive 2-1 win away to Truro City on Saturday, manager Ian Allinson still named a strong line-up.

Included were some players, like centre-half Harold Joseph, who was returning from injury and needed minutes.

But the City boss admitted having a development side with younger players available would have helped.

He said: “It was an opportunity for me to get minutes into players who have not played in recent weeks but it also disrupts what we’ve been doing in those games.

“But I’ve got to look at the conditions, and I know it’s the same for both sides, but it’s a difficult pitch to play on.

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“It’s quite wet, quite muddy and uneven and it would have been silly to risk the likes of Tariq Moore-Azille, Tom Bender and Sam Merson.

“A development side probably would have been the answer and hopefully that will happen in the future.

“We’ve looked at it and we’ve spoke about it and it is something we probably need because we want to develop players.”

Getting minutes into the likes of Joseph increases competition for places going into Saturday’s home game against Oxford City.

But getting into the side that overcame fellow Vanarama National League South play-off hopefuls Truro will be tricky, such was the impressive nature of the win.

Allinson said: “All of sudden I’ve got 16 fit players and when Tom Gardiner is back, we’re up to 17 and a squad who is fighting for places again.

“It’s been tough but we’re not hiding behind it.

“Oxford have been on an excellent run, they’ve brought some good players in.

“They’re in a situation where they need to pick up points so it’s going to be tough.

“We’ve got to adapt and get the three points which will take us nicely into the Wealdstone and Hemel Hempstead games over Christmas.”