City crash out of FA Trophy in Yorkshire as boss admits 'it could easily have been 10'
PUBLISHED: 11:05 17 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:11 17 January 2018
It’s a strange thing to say after a 5-0 defeat but St Albans City’s manager Ian Allinson was almost relieved at the scoreline – as he admitted it could have been double that.
Having suffered the heartbreak of conceding a goal 25 seconds from the end of added time on Saturday, City felt their FA Trophy replay away to Vanarama National League North side Harrogate Town was more than a winnable game.
And trailing by just one goal at the break at Wetherby Road on Tuesday that confidence was still there.
But free-scoring Harrogate showed why they are averaging over two goals a game in the league by dismantling Saints in the second half.
Allinson said: “I felt up to half-time we were in the game. I felt we were playing well without really imposing ourselves in the final third.
“We got into some really good positions but our ball retention wasn’t very good.
“But once the second goal went in and we chased the game, we opened ourselves up to a counter attacking team and it could quite easily have been 10 in the end.
“I’m just so pleased it is only five because the amount of chances they missed and the amount of saves that Dean [Snedker] made in that last 35 minutes has kept the score down to a respectable level.
“It comes down to small margins. We had our opportunity on Saturday and we didn’t take it and we’ve been punished. We have to accept that.
“Full credit to them; in the second half they were very good.”
It was a freezing night in North Yorkshire but the heavy snowfall that had been forecast failed to materialise with just the odd flurry causing a small dusting on the 3G pitch.
And Allinson was quick to rule that out as an excuse, as well as the long coach journey although he did feel there might have been another problem.
“The pitch was fine,” he said. “It was perfect conditions, great for both teams and there was some good football played out there.
“In the end they counter attacked well and their pace and movement was too good for us.
“We’ve got a concentration level in this changing room that sometimes doesn’t work for 90 minutes and that’s something I’ve got to work on.
“We keep saying how young these players are but they’ve got to concentrate for 90, 95 minutes.
“And as you saw on Saturday, one lapse of concentration has cost us a place in the next round of the FA Trophy.
“We do need to look at the squad. I saw a few flaws tonight that I didn’t enjoy and didn’t like.
“One or two players’ heads went down very quickly and one or two players looked disinterested.
“Fortunately enough Dean Snedker has made three or four outstanding saves to keep the score down.”