Saints set to learn fate

ST ALBANS City boss Steve Castle says the squad will take whatever punishment the Football Association may throw at them on Friday and get on with it.

The club is set to find out its fate on Friday following the FA’s investigation into the club’s payments to players. The hearing has been postponed twice already but this Friday appears to be the day the club finally finds out the outcome of the investigation and any subsequent punishment should they be found guilty.

A points deduction would really throw the Saints into trouble with recent results seeing the club slip back into the relegation zone. Despite the uphill task ahead of them Castle says both he and the players are determined to fight it out.

“Whatever they give us they give us,” said the City boss.

“We’ll take it from there. I’m glad it still gives us a number of games and points to play for that could possibly help us. Who knows what’s going to happen with that.

“The lads in there are good honest boys and the mistakes they are making are honest mistakes when trying to do the right thing.

“I’m not looking to walk away because I don’t think there’s anyone out there, if I’m honest, who could do any better because of the resources we’ve got and probably the players we’ve got on not great money. I think the loyalty to myself and to the football club is what is keeping them here.

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“Whatever they throw at us, it’ll be a massive task if we do get a big points deduction to get out of it but we’ll take it on and hopefully come the last few games of the season we can be talking about a rescue mission and roll on next season and hopefully a more stable ship.”

City suffered a dour 0-0 draw with basement side Lewes on Saturday, a performance that Castle described as a “shambles”, and slipped to a 1-0 defeat against arch rivals and fellow strugglers Boreham Wood.

Tuesday night’s game was littered with mistakes making it hard for City to make any headway against a solid Wood defence and Castle says the result came down to the side who made the least mistakes.

He said: “They made less mistakes than us all. I know they are honest mistakes but they are still mistakes.

“The whole team is guilty of it whereas you look at people like (Wood’s) Elliot Godfrey and Ali Chaaban, I don’t think they gave the ball away too often. I don’t think they’ve been caught offside too often, especially Elliot, and I think that’s the thing that edged it.

“That’s the third game in a row we haven’t scored. I’m disappointed as everyone is. Ali Chaaban is probably on a lot more money than Dominic Petrucci and Inih Effiong and that tells the tale in some ways.”

Castle admitted his frustration at losing the services of two strikers he plucked from obscurity in the shape of Ollie Palmer and Pelayo Gomez but the City boss hopes to have one if not both back for Saturday’s trip to Hampton & Richmond Borough.

“I find it the height of frustration to be perfectly honest,” Castle explained.

“When you have Ollie Palmer, who I’ve got out of a college game and then suddenly with a new manager you can’t have him, that’s frustrating.

“Then we’ve had Pelayo Gomez , who’s been released and has had a trial game at Morecambe, obviously that goes in preference to our game. I do find it quite draining and quite frustrating.

“I got told by Garry Hill that he wants to have a look at him (Palmer) tonight.

“The deadline has gone so it would only be another month but at the moment we’d take anything because regardless of anything else he worked his socks off and we’re missing him and we’re missing Pelayo.

“It’s been an age old thing since I’ve been here. Other than Paul Hakim I don’t think we’ve had a striker of note since I’ve been manager.

“You’ve got to pay for them. There’s been people around, you’ve got people who I’ve had the opportunity of getting in and really it’s just been beyond our reach.”