New dad Tom Bender happy with Saints’ strong second-half showing against Chelmsford

Tom Bender has now made 183 appearances for St Albans City. Picture: JIM STANDEN

Tom Bender has now made 183 appearances for St Albans City. Picture: JIM STANDEN - Credit: Archant

Tom Bender hailed this week as being “one of the best weeks ever” and while that wasn’t a reaction to St Albans City’s 1-1 draw with Chelmsford, the performance certainly added to it.

The longest-serving player in the current Saints squad became a dad for the second time on Wednesday but still took his place in the team to face the Clarets.

And despite going through a hectic week he said there was never a chance of him missing the match.

He said: "I knew when the baby was coming so that took the pressure off but when they do come all hell breaks loose anyway.

"I've already got one boy so it's been chaos, up all night with feeding and doing nappies. It's made this week difficult but it's still been one of the best weeks ever.

"I knew I would have missed the Oxford game had it been played on Tuesday but I was never going to miss this game.

"As long as the baby was here before Saturday, I knew I'd be playing."

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And he was part of a team that showed signs of overturning their poor position at the foot of the National League South with a strong second-half showing at Clarence Park.

He said: "We started slowly but then started to get a foothold in the game. Their goal took the wind out of a few of the lads but we came out fighting in the second half and had so much energy.

"We took the game to them and in my eyes if we'd carried on there was only going to be one team to win it and that was going to be us.

The birth of the newest member of Bender's family meant he missed one training session with new assistant manager Chris Winton but from what he has seen, a new voice could make all the difference.

He said: "It's not necessarily a case of Glen's session's were bad and Chris's have been good, it's just different ideas, a different voice and different sessions.

"Sometimes that can have a massive impact. Even if you're doing the same session as previously but the person leading is has a different outlook on it or a different opinion, it gets players thinking.

"And if that can add even one per cent to each of us then as a team that will make a massive difference.

"We've got another week working with Chris and then it's just about implementing those ideas into games.

"If we do that we'll be alright."