No happy returns for Ian Allinson as St Albans City anniversary ends in disappointment

St Albans City's Shaun Jeffers saw two good chances missed in the first half against Braintree.

St Albans City's Shaun Jeffers saw two good chances missed in the first half against Braintree. - Credit: DANNY LOO PHOTOGRAPHY

It was six years to the day since Ian Allinson took over at St Albans City but it was not a happy anniversary for the manager after defeat to Braintree Town.

The 1-0 loss was an opportunity missed to regain some of the momentum lost following the midweek defeat to Ebbsfleet United, an opportunity which carried even more weight with defeats for most of the teams around them in National League South.

But the biggest disappointment was the lack of a cutting edge in attack, with City failing to register a shot on target.

The City boss said: "The first-half was a poor game in poor conditions with the wind. 

"Second half we started bright and they probably scored against the run of play. 

"It was a sloppy goal to give away and we had to go and chase the game again and at the moment, chasing the game doesn’t suit us. 

"We got into four or five good positions in the second half and at the beginning of the season, we were finishing them off, tapping balls in at the back post. 

"We stuck three or four across the face of goal but haven’t had anyone in there to finish them off. 

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"We also had Huw’s shot go just over the bar but we haven’t asked their goalkeeper to make a save in the whole game. 

"That’s disappointing from our point of view. 

"We have to go back to basics and start again." 

It is a far cry from the beginning of the season when they were cutting through teams at will and while Shaun Jeffers is the league's top scorer, the goals have not been coming from his team-mates.

Allinson said: "Shaun with his cup goals has got 20-odd goals this year but we have to be seeing the likes of Liam Sole, Romeo Akinola, Zane Banton, John Goddard and Mitchell Weiss chip in with eight, nine or 10 goals a season. 

"They have not got to that level but then the centre-halves haven’t got the goals either. Has the quality [of crossing] been good enough? 

"We created a bit of pressure but didn’t really create any good chances until Johnny Goddard got in late on. 

"We’re just going through a little spell. We weren’t good enough on the night against Ebbsfleet but today was a disappointment."

There is still some positives and with no one team taking the league by the scruff of the neck, the play-off places still remain firmly in touch.

But to do so will require an improvement in the form at Clarence Park, with the defeat to the Iron their fifth in 13 home games.

Allinson said: "We wanted five points from Slough, Havant and Ebbsfleet and we got six but [losing to Braintree] was a blow in terms of picking up points. 

"You have to give them full credit though for what they did. 

"Our away record has been good though but teams set up [defensively] when they come here. 

"Most of the goals we concede have been on the counter attack so do we have to change the way we play slightly? Do we have to change the shape? Do we have to go and make things difficult for other teams?

"We might have to."