St Albans City over bad start says Chris Winton as improved results and performances continue against Havant

Assistant Chris Winton (left), next to manager Ian Allinson, has been delighted with St Albans City's recent form

Assistant Chris Winton (left), next to manager Ian Allinson, has been delighted with the recovery of St Albans City after defeats in their opening two National League South games. - Credit: DANNY LOO

The turnaround in fortunes for St Albans City continued with victory at home to Havant & Waterlooville - and assistant manager Chris Winton is delighted to see things coming together at last.

The 1-0 victory was the Saints' third and it makes it four games without defeat in National League South since beginning with losses to Dartford and Dorking Wanderers.

And that start is the sugar that makes the improved efforts all the more sweeter.

Winton said: "There was never a sense of panic but you always want to get your first points on the board quickly and since those two games we’ve really turned things round.

"This wasn’t always pretty but [Havant] are a full-time side and they have big players all over the park and yet we’ve matched them. 

"We can’t pat the boys on the back enough for what they have served up today and what they have served up since those first two games.

"It was a great win but the one thing I would say is we lacked a bit of a cutting edge.

"That’s something we need to work on, getting forwards to strike the ball into the back of the net. 

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"We want to get Mitch [Weiss] firing and Johnny [Goddard] firing and hopefully with a bit of work, we’ll be able to do that." 

The game wasn't without its complications though, especially in defence. They started with three centre-halves and two wing-backs before switching to a back four.

They then had to reshuffle again when David Diedhiou limped out at half-time and yet despite all that, City made it three clean sheets in a row.

Winton said: "This is what I’ve found since moving to this league. You can plan for what the opposition do and we planned all week, I’ve gone through countless videos as has Ian [Allinson] and Steve Conroy, thinking they were going to play a certain formation and it wasn’t the case. 

"They left Alex Wall out, they left Scott Rendell out and we’d planned for them so then you start wondering what you need to do.

"But there was a period during the Dartford and Dorking games I would worry the opposition would get on the end of it every time a ball went into the box. 

"We weren’t plugging holes and plugging spaces well enough but now, or certainly for the last two or three weeks, every time a ball comes in, I feel quite safe and I can trust everyone in there. 

"They are occupying the right spaces, at the near post, the far post and the penalty spot, and they are not letting runners get off the back of them. 

"They are a great bunch and they always want to learn. They are listening to what the gaffer says and they are starting to implement things. 

"It is really pleasing."