Saints’ play-off hopes are over, insists Gray
- Credit: Archant
James Gray insisted that St Albans City’s hopes of reaching the Conference South play-offs are over after Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Chelmsford City.
The Saints are 14th in the table and 10 points off the final play-off place, currently occupied by Havant and Waterlooville, Tuesday’s opponent, with 12 games left to play.
But Gray has put a pin in even entertaining the idea.
“I felt it was really important; my team talk was that we needed three points for our season to continue. If we have any hope of reaching the play-offs then three points was a must. That’s gone now,” he told Saintsnet after the game.
“Now I feel we need to kick on and finish as high as we can. I don’t think we can reach the play-offs, so it’s more about stabilising and looking to see what we need next season.”
Gray admitted he’d left the players’ ears ringing with his team talk at the break following an inexcusable first-half performance. Joe Ward scored in the second-minute of injury-time to cap a dominant opening 45 minutes for the Clarets.
The lead was doubled by an Darren Locke own goal, although he redeemed himself by scoring at the other end to half the deficit. Then, despite overwhelming pressure in the final 10 minutes, St Albans couldn’t find an equaliser and recorded their 14th loss of the season, the third highest in the division.
- 1 Sainsbury's comes to St Albans station
- 2 Bowmans Cross development shelved as Hertsmere pulls Local Plan
- 3 Wholefoods shop relocates to offer wider range of produce
- 4 Police hunt wanted man with connections to St Albans
- 5 So why WAS police helicopter flying over St Albans last week?
- 6 Frustration and anger over St Albans school's change to hairstyle and uniform policy
- 7 Comment: Is Aldenham really posher than St Albans and Harpenden?
- 8 10 filming locations of new Netflix series Stay Close
- 9 Who was the witch of St Albans?
- 10 Music line-up confirmed for Pub in the Park 2022 St Albans festival
“I expected us to get something and they were hanging on but damage was done in the first half. We didn’t play well in the first half and to lose a goal so close to [the break], it gave us a mountain to climb,” added Gray.
“We made a better fist of it second half but if we’d have snatched a draw it would have been stealing something because we didn’t deserve anything.”
He added: “It was a disappointing performance although we didn’t make a fist of it toward the end and how we didn’t put the ball in the net in last 10 minutes with the pressure we were causing, I’ll never know.
“This season has been a story of too many missed opportunities. If you look at the defeats column, we’ve lost too many when we could have picked up points.”