Ian Allinson praises 'unbelievable shift' of St Albans City players against Maidstone

Ian Allinson was thrilled with St Albans City's defensive work against Maidstone United.

Ian Allinson was thrilled with St Albans City's defensive work against Maidstone United. - Credit: JIM STANDEN

Ian Allinson says the way Maidstone United played at Clarence Park should be the level his St Albans City side aspire to reach in National League South.

Saints defended tenaciously to earn a 0-0 draw against their Kentish visitors, who jumped a place to second thanks to the point.

Allinson said: "That was the toughest game we’ve had all season and they were probably the best team we’ve played. 

"But my players were outstanding in the way they had to dig in and defend in numbers. 

"Maidstone are full-time and the lads are tired as they put an unbelievable shift in. 

I’m over the moon to come away with a point. It would have been nice to get all three, we had a couple of chances late on when the game got stretched but they are a proper team and it shows the level we need to get to if we are to compete in this league.

"The three days a week makes a difference in terms of their fitness level. 

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"They never allowed us to have any sort of system or to get it down and pass it. 

"Every time we tried, they broke it up and were on us like a rash. 

"There was no space, they pressed us really hard." 

Michael Johnson was to the fore as St Albans City kept a clean sheet at home to Maidstone United.

Michael Johnson was to the fore as St Albans City kept a clean sheet at home to Maidstone United. - Credit: JIM STANDEN

City remain outside of the play-off places but the draw took their progress to just one league defeat in the last six.

They have a glut of games to come over the next few weeks and while the boss is well aware there are not yet halfway through the year, he wants the momentum being generated to be the springboard for a successful second half to the campaign.

He said: "We have got some tough games against teams in and around us and the one thing we don’t want to do is lose those games. 

"We haven’t against Maidstone and in previous weeks I think we would have. 

"We’ve managed to keep a clean sheet, we’ve conceded too many goals in recent weeks. 

"We know we can play better but first and foremost you have to stop the momentum of goals going in and then you build the confidence. 

"There is a long way to go, we are not even halfway through the season yet."