Time for St Albans City to do the time warp and cement their play-off position

Shaun Jeffers scored one but passed up others as St Albans City drew with Oxford City.

Shaun Jeffers scored one but passed up others as St Albans City drew with Oxford City. - Credit: JIM STANDEN

St Albans City need to step back in time and replicate Ian Allinson's first few months in charge - if they are to secure a National League South play-off place.

The 1-1 draw with Oxford City moved them up one position to sixth but with 12 games to go, their participation in the post-season party is still very much up for grabs.

And the boss knows building momentum at this stage of the campaign is priceless.

He said: "Tom Bender has spoken about when I first came in six years ago and we also needed to win games. 

"We ended up winning eight and drawing two with just two defeats. 

"We know we have to do it but the teams around us have to do it as well. 

"Any team that puts any sort of consistency together now will get in the play-offs. 

"We’ve played a team that is third in the league and a team that is riding high in confidence. 

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"And we were good against them. They just about shaded the first half but second half we were the better team. 

"We have to take those positives into the last 12 games because we have had an inconsistency about us for the last six to eight weeks.

"Hopefully this has brought back some of the things we are looking for."

St Albans City celebrate Shaun Jeffers' goal against Oxford City.

St Albans City celebrate Shaun Jeffers' goal against Oxford City. - Credit: JIM STANDEN

While he will naturally accept the one point gained, Allinson knows that better finishing would have given them a deserved three against Oxford.

Shaun Jeffers put them in front on 49 minutes but missed a couple of glorious chances to extend the lead, which meant a late penalty, converted by former Saints hotshot Joe Iaciofano, was all the Hoops needed to steal a draw.

Allinson said: "We played well and at the start of the season we were taking those but we didn’t here. 

Shaun had some very similar chances to the goal but it is just one of those games. 

"I was genuinely pleased with our performance, I felt it was one of our best for a long period. 

"The football flowed a bit more, we passed it a bit more and there was a bit more confidence about the team. 

"It’s just a shame because I felt we deserved something from Eastbourne on Saturday and we deserved three points [against Oxford]. 

"It would have made a big difference to the league positions if we’d taken those points but there are lots of positives to take."

St Albans City's Mitchell Weiss draws a save out of Oxford City's Ben Dudzinski.

St Albans City's Mitchell Weiss draws a save out of Oxford City's Ben Dudzinski. - Credit: JIM STANDEN

The Saints boss had made three changes but kept a back three, with the starting side playing the full duration.

Allinson said: "I liked our three, they were really good. Cameron Green gave us a massive energy and Joy Mukena did on the other side. 

"They both joined in and that was exciting. 

"Avan [Jones] and Alex [Lankshear] are natural full-backs so they are happy tracking back and covering when the centre-halves went forward. 

"And I thought it was brave to play all three forwards and it worked. 

"I liked what we were doing," he added on the lack of substitutes. "A couple of times we thought about bringing David Noble on or Liam Sole and just shoring things up at 1-0 but I felt quite comfortable and I always felt we would get the second. 

"I didn’t see them scoring and that’s why I was so disappointed with the penalty when it came. 

"Teams should have to work hard to score against you and it was a bit cheap to give away.

"At the end of the day though it is our own fault because we haven’t taken those chances."