Some ‘soul searching’ needed if St Albans City are to shine this year

Tom Bender gets Saints level for the second time. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Tom Bender gets Saints level for the second time. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

St Albans City could be on the verge of something special says Ian Allinson – but between now and then there needs to be some “soul searching”.

City fought back three times to claim a 3-3 draw at Chippenham Town, a result that ended a sequence of three Vanarama National League South defeats on the bounce.

Zane Banton, Tom Bender and Rhys Murrell-Williamson got the goals but it was the three conceded that vexed the Saints boss, with all three coming from set-pieces.

And if St Albans are going to make their mark this year in what is a very open division, he is looking for the players to “grow up”, starting with the visit of Bognor Regis Town to Clarence Park on Saturday

He said: “Bognor have come up and had a great start. They have a good side when they get a full side out and if we approach it in the wrong mind we’ll be on the end of a defeat.

“That’s the one thing we have to try and teach these players. Every single game has to be approached correctly and that’s my job.

“They have to get the mentality that they have to work hard, because if they do that they’ll win games.

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“If we go out with the mentality that they can just attack from the start and don’t have to do the ugly side of the game, then we’ll be on the end of defeat after defeat.

“The quality will come through if we work hard.

“I keep saying I really believe in this team but we’ve got a lot of growing up to do and a lot of soul searching to do because though the quality is there, we’re just missing something to take us to the next level.

“Can I bring one or two in that will give us that, to give us something slightly different that will make us bigger and stronger?

“Now that the pitches are turning we’re going to have to dig really deep and make sure we keep clean sheets and take the chances when they come.”

Allinson also had praise for Murrell-Williamson, but he wants the forward to strive for better consistency.

“He has spells where he is very, very quiet and then he has spells like he did in the last 25 minutes where he comes alive and is untouchable,” said Allinson.

“We have to try and nurture him and get him to do that for the full 90 minutes.

“But that’s just Rhys. We knew that when we brought him in.”