A different test but St Albans City manager Ian Allinson happy with Stevenage outing

Stevenage's Joseph Anang makes a save as St Albans City press in the second half of their friendly at Clarence Park

Stevenage's Joseph Anang makes a save as St Albans City press in the second half of their friendly at Clarence Park. - Credit: DANNY LOO

Ian Allinson was more than happy with the way his St Albans City side battled against Stevenage in their latest pre-season friendly - even if it was in complete contrast with the opening match of their campaign.

They fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Stevenage in a clash that was almost the polar opposite to the 8-1 win at Arlesey Town.

It was nothing more than the City boss expected though and there could have come away with more thanks to a improved second half.

Allinson said: "We expected it [to be different to Saturday] but with not playing a pro-side in last year’s pre-season, you could see the difference in the stature of each player, they seemed to be massive, and in the way they kept the ball and pressed the ball. 

"It took us a little bit by surprise and we were a little bit slow out of the blocks. 

"We had quite a hard training session on Tuesday but we wanted to do that to test the legs. 

"We struggled in the first half but I was really pleased with the second half. 

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"We changed the shape slightly, played further forward and probably had the best three chances. 

"Liam [Sole] has to score, he was scoring for fun last night, but for 20 minutes in the second half he was unplayable. 

"We were disappointed with the goal conceded but it was the only chance they really had. 

"There were a few balls flying round the box in the first half but there was never any pressure from that side, other than our own mistakes."

Goalkeeper Michael Johnson was also happy with the positives seen by the Saints.

He said: "We didn’t think we’d see much of the ball and it definitely went that way in the first half. They pressed up really high. 

"Obviously we still tried to play but it didn’t really work in the first half. 

"But on a positive note I felt it was two very different 45s. 

"We were much more composed in the second half and had three really good chances and on day another day, if they go in, you win the game. 

"They’ve had one shot on target. I know Harry [Draper] from playing at Hitchin and to be fair to him he’s tucked it away nicely. 

"But there was a lot more positives than negatives."

There were players missing though and the City boss says the likes of Zane Banton, David Diedhiou and Michael Clark are at least a week away from returning.

He said: "Zane has a bit of tenderness around the ankle. David Diedhiou has a bit of a knee problem, which is starting to get better, and Michael Clark has a small tear or hernia in the groin area. 

"I don’t think any will be available in the net seven to 10 days, which is a bit of a problem."

They were missing for Saints' next game, a 2-1 win away to Kings Langley on Saturday.

Romeo Akinola got both the goals and although Lango pulled one back in the second half, City hung on for the win.

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