Manager Ian Allinson has nothing but pride for his St Albans City players
- Credit: Archant
Ian Allinson had nothing but praise for his patched-up St Albans City side after they fell to a 1-0 defeat at Boreham Wood in the final of the Herts Senior Cup.
The likes of David Noble, Ben Herd and Scott Shulton all missed out with knocks while David Moyo was left out as he battles to regain fitness in time for Saturday’s crucial National League South game with Torquay.
It meant youngsters Tom Geller and Nick Ralfe were included on the bench, the latter coming on for his Saints’ debut late on, and a few familiar names in the shape of Jacob Gardiner-Smith and Josh McLeod-Urquhart drafted back in.
But despite the hastily put together squad, they matched their full-time National League hosts, only going down to Ralston Gabriel’s 70th-minute winner.
Allinson said: “I thought they were outstanding. I’m really pleased with the boys.
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“If you look at the likes of Luke Joyce-Dwarika and Liam Sole, they’ve hardly played any football in the last few weeks.
“David Diedhiou is back after losing a month with his hand injury and then there is Josh McLeod-Urquhart who did a great job coming back in.
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“They did the job really well and were really disciplined in what they had to do.
“I’m just disappointed with the goal because that was the first time we outnumbered them going forward and then we gave the ball away very cheaply.
“And before we knew where we were, it was transferred straight back to their forwards who opened us up and got in behind very quickly.
“We took a couple of chances late on but the players gave me everything they had.
“On the day we just weren’t good enough though.”
The City boss has not been quiet about his designs on the trophy.
From day one this year he has talked about winning it, a feat had City done it that would have seen Allinson become the first manager to win the trophy with three different clubs, having lifted it with Baldock Town and Wood themselves.
Allinson said: “I want to win trophies. This would have been my first trophy as manager of St Albans and it would have been nice to be the first person to win the competition with three different clubs.
“Unfortunately it hasn’t happened but we’ll try and win it next year.
“The game came at the wrong time just before one of the most important games since I came to the club, or at least since that relegation match with Dartford.
“We’ve respected the competition and we’ve set out to win it but I’ve got one eye on a massive game against Torquay.”
Only a win will do in that game with the Gulls as Saints look to get in the play-offs but because of this game, as well as the Easter period, it has meant a change in the build-up for the Clarence Park-based club.
“We’ve got five or six in there now who have knocks so we’ve given them two days off to rest up and then we’ll come in early on Saturday morning,” revealed Allinson.
“We’ll just walk through some set-pieces and patterns of play and then give them a pre-match meal at the ground.
“That’s all we can do. Anything we do at this stage of the season fitness-wise isn’t going to make a difference.
“It’s been a really tough last few weeks but the players have been outstanding and I’m really proud of them in terms of playing, training, passion and commitment.”