Ugly game and defeat at Hemel not the start to the new year St Albans City had planned

Michael Clark, James Kaloczi and Tom Bender look to get on the end of a Zane Banton free-kick for St

Michael Clark, James Kaloczi and Tom Bender look to get on the end of a Zane Banton free-kick for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN - Credit: Archant

An “ugly game” and a result of an equally disappointing nature made it a miserable start to 2020 for St Albans City.

Tom Bender in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN

Tom Bender in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN - Credit: Archant

A solitary goal from home skipper Connor Essam three minutes after half-time gave Hemel Hempstead Town revenge for their Boxing Day loss at Clarence Park.

Munashe Sundire in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN

Munashe Sundire in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN - Credit: Archant

In keeping with the match it wasn't pretty, a deflection helping it on its way beyond Dean Snedker, but it summed up the contest as a whole for City boss Ian Allinson.

Scott Shulton in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN

Scott Shulton in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN - Credit: Archant

He said: "It was an ugly game to be involved with not much quality.

David Longe-King in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN

David Longe-King in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN - Credit: Archant

"Both sides struggled to create chances. We both went from back to front too quick and the one opportunity they got, which took a deflection I was told, got them the goal.

Dean Snedker in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN

Dean Snedker in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN - Credit: Archant


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"The rest of the game the ball was up in the air and it was generally not a good game to watch.

St Albans City defend in numbers to keep Hemel Hempstead Town out. Picture: JIM STANDEN

St Albans City defend in numbers to keep Hemel Hempstead Town out. Picture: JIM STANDEN - Credit: Archant

"Sometimes you have to scrap and pick up your 0-0 draws and 1-0 wins and they've had a little bit of luck.

Tom Bender in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN

Tom Bender in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN - Credit: Archant

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"That's been the story of our season at times."

St Albans City manager Ian Allinson with assistant Chris Winton at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JI

St Albans City manager Ian Allinson with assistant Chris Winton at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN - Credit: Archant

Saints came into the match at Vauxhall Road with plenty of confidence even if their five-match unbeaten run, which included that post-Christmas success, had come to an end at National League South leaders Wealdstone.

Jefferson Louis in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN

Jefferson Louis in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN - Credit: Archant

The performance on that day, another 1-0 reverse, had seen Saints give it a real good go to recover a point.

Joe Iaciofano in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town as James Kaloczi looks on. Pictur

Joe Iaciofano in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town as James Kaloczi looks on. Picture: JIM STANDEN - Credit: Archant

That though was something that was lacking against their Hertfordshire rivals.

Munashe Sundire in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN

Munashe Sundire in action for St Albans City at Hemel Hempstead Town. Picture: JIM STANDEN - Credit: Archant

"You have to give them credit as they defended for their lives but we tried to hit Jefferson Louis too much and we didn't have enough width to our game," said a clearly down St Albans manager.

"Some of our players didn't look sharp and we have to be careful as it is the fifth game in 15 days and some of these players looked leggy.

"We never got to grips with the game and that's disappointing.

"It shows how far we've come that we've gone to Wealdstone and Hemel and come away disappointed.

"We've made some inroads and we have improved but there is a long way to go and we need to improve even more if we are to climb the table."

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