Saints set the bar high
- Credit: Archant
James Gray believes St Albans City have set themselves a benchmark that they can not fall below.
City’s joint manager was speaking after seeing former Saint Moussa Diarra snatch a point for Hemel Hempstead Town at Clarence Park on Monday.
It was arguably the Saints’ best performance of the season in the league, and, with Ben Martin out of the squad due to injury, Howard Hall pulling up and substituted after 30 minutes and Chris Watters making his way back, things can only get better.
“We’re showing everyone what we can do; it gives us a measure of what we can achieve,” Gray told the Herts Ad.
“We’ve set standards over the last three weeks of what we can do and we can’t drop below that because I know what the players can do.
“We’ve set the bar and we have to reach it week in, week out.”
City’s first chance to build on Monday’s performance comes this Saturday with a trip to Chatham Town in the FA Cup. A win against their Ryman League Division One opponents will put their name in the hat for the first round proper of the competition, and with it, the possibility of being drawn against a League One or League Two side.
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Whatever the result on Saturday, Saints will have to quickly refocus for Monday’s game against Hitchin Town at Clarence Park (7.45pm kick-off). The sides played out a 1-1 draw at Top Field on September 2 with John Frendo scoring his first goal for the club. The clubs’ fortunes have gone in opposite directions since then with City climbing the league table and Hitchin falling down it.
Other takeaways from Gray’s post-match interview:
• On drawing Billericay Town in the FA Trophy: “We’re just happy with the home draw. Apart from a couple of losses in the league our home form has been good and we like to get the fans down to Clarence Park.
“We know what they’re about and we’ve already done a job on them this season. Hopefully we can do it again.”
Saints beat Billericay 2-0 in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup in September. The game will be played on Saturday, November 2. The prize for winning the tie is £3,250.
• On Greg Ngoyi’s sending off in City’s 3-0 win over Witham Town in the FA Trophy: “The club won’t take any action until we know what the FA will do.
“We’ll have a chat with Greg but he’s still part of the squad and we want him; hopefully the chairman and owners do to.
“It was a rush of blood, he’s apologised and we want to draw a line under it.”
• On reserve goalkeeper Tom Coulton: “Tom is a young lad who’s learning his trade. He has a massive future with the club.”