Youngsters star in Watford win much to delight of St Albans City boss Ian Allinson

Alex Lankshear on the charge for St Albans City against Watford.

Alex Lankshear on the charge for St Albans City against Watford. - Credit: JIM STANDEN

Ian Allinson was full of praise for the youngsters at St Albans City after a victory over Watford U23s at Clarence Park in their latest pre-season game.

Saints started with eight recognised first-team players and two of them, Joy Mukena and Shaun Jeffers, got the goals in a 2-1 win.

St Albans City's Shaun Jeffers sends his winning penalty against Watford straight down the middle

St Albans City's Shaun Jeffers sends his winning penalty against Watford straight down the middle. - Credit: JIM STANDEN

But by the time the match finished, City were mostly their U18 squad and the boss is delighted to see the youth policy starting to bear fruit

He said: "We went a little bit stronger early on, just to get us into the game, but then we put the young boys on after that. 

"They showed how good they are going to be. A lot of them are only 17-years-old but they have been together a long time and they do know their weaknesses and their strengths. 

"They are all comfortable on the ball and it has to be a massive positive going into a massive season. 

"Kieran Gaulthier has done really well. Aidan Walsh played second half and he had to self-isolate because his phone pinged so he missed his opportunity but Kieran has grabbed it. 

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"Both though have shown how good they are."

St Albans City celebrate their equaliser against Watford U23s.

St Albans City celebrate their equaliser against Watford U23s. - Credit: JIM STANDEN

The youngsters have been handed a big chance to shine after troublesome and unwanted injuries to their older club-mates.

That is concern to the Saints brass but it won't affect the plans for a double-header on Saturday, simultaneous matches taking place away at AFC Dunstable and Bedford Town.

Allinson said: "We have picked up loads of little niggles and we just have to protect them. 

"Hopefully we should have a couple back by the weekend. David Diedhiou has made massive strides this week, we thought we were going to lose him for six weeks, but at the moment he is only three weeks away. 

"Michael Clark is another two weeks away but Callum Adebiyi should be back by the weekend and Liam Sole by Tuesday for the Hendon game. 

"Devante Stanley may be able to do 45 on Saturday and Zane is back so it is good that we are getting them back.

"[Saturday] will still be a split. We’ve got two teams and we will have some of the younger ones who will be back.

"The idea was we’d give each of the first-team squad 90 minutes and they will get that."

The imminent return of his stars means Allinson is not looking at bringing anyone else in, his main concern the amount of chances going begging.

"It has been a good pre-season for us," he said. "But we’re not scoring as many goals for the number of chances we’re creating, that’s something we have to look at and work on. 

"We are getting into some really good areas and creating some good chances but it will hurt us if we don’t take them when they come. 

"We may only get four or five and we’ll have to take two or three of them to win games."

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