Smith, Gayle and Beckles impress Gray at Basingstoke

Omar Beckles. Picture: Bob Walkley

Omar Beckles. Picture: Bob Walkley - Credit: Archant

Charlie Smith was one of two loanees that fired St Albans City to a momentum-shifting 1-0 win over Basingstoke Town on Saturday.

The Luton Town 19-year-old scored the only goal of the game but joint manager James Gray was equally impressed with Dagenham and Redbridge loanee Ian Gayle and new signing Omar Beckles from Hornchurch.

“I though Smith was excellent,” Gray told Saintsnet after the game.

“I’d watched him a few times when he was at Hitchin Town. He’s a natural left-sided player, which gives us good balance down that side.

“It was a great debut and a great goal. He’s a young lad whose come in and is determined to work because he wants to make the grade at Luton; if we can help then do that then it’s all well and good.”

He added: “[Gayle] was outstanding – he’s exactly what we need; he’s got pace, very good aerially, talks well and clears his lines. He was superb.

“We brought Omar in as a centre-half but we wanted to be strong in midfielder so we stuck him in there and he was outstanding.”