FA Cup: Frendo believes City can shock Mansfield

PUBLISHED: 15:08 07 November 2013 | UPDATED: 15:08 07 November 2013

John Frendo scored a stunning volley against Billericay in the FA Trophy. Picture: Leigh Page

John Frendo scored a stunning volley against Billericay in the FA Trophy. Picture: Leigh Page

Archant

John Frendo believes St Albans City can cause an upset on Saturday in the FA Cup first round proper.

City welcome League Two’s Manfield Town to Clarence Park on Saturday, 3pm kick-off.

“This is the best team I have been a part of,” he said.

“When I joined I could see straight away we had good individuals, but individuals don’t win games. As the games have gone on we have become more of a team; the cup run has helped us to gel, and now I believe we can cause an upset [in the FA Cup].”

Saints’ top scorer has reached this stage of the competition once before, in 2007 for Ware, when he came up against Kidderminster Harriers. Frendo was on the losing side that day but he remembers the time fondly.

“The week building up to the game was unbelievable; being on Soccer AM and the hype around the club was a great experience. I’m looking forward to it again,” he told the Herts Ad.

The game, however, did not go Ware’s way and they lost 2-0.

“We were a young side and it looked like men against boys; we were never really in the game. This time we have a good chance to cause an upset.”

His advice to his team mates who haven’t played in the first round proper: “Enjoy it, but don’t shy away from the occasion.”

Frendo has been anything by shy in front of goal this season. After a slow start, in which he didn’t score for the first five league games, he announced his arrival with a goal at Hitchin Town, his former club, and a four-goal haul at Truro City.

His tally now stands at 16 for the season, but his most recent goal was his best yet. On Saturday against Billericay, with the teams drawing 2-2, Frendo latched on David Keenleyside’s cross and unleashed an unstoppable volley past Billy Lumley.

Even the man himself admitted is was a bit special.

“It was one of my best. It’s hard to explain [what I was thinking]; I guess instinct took over. It was a lovely ball and it set up just right to hit it so why not? Most of the time it goes miles wide, though,” he joked.

“I didn’t start the season well but since then my form has picked up and so has the team’s performances.”

Frendo, his strike partner Mark Nwokeji and the rest of the City players will have to be on top form to beat Mansfield Town, even though the League Two side are experiencing a downturn in form.

“They are a big, strong team so we need to keep free-kicks and corners to a minimum but I believe we’ll cause them a bit of trouble.”

n City came through a difficult FA Trophy replay to beat Billericay Town on Tuesday night and set a date with Chelmsford in the third qualifying round, which will be played in Essex on November 16.

The first tie was highlighted by Frendo’s wonder goal, which can be see on the Herts Ad website, but a late equaliser saw the teams draw 3-3. Nwokeji grabbed a brace on the day.

On Tuesday nothing could separate the teams after two hours of football - James Comley and Elliot Bailey twice cancelling out the hosts’ lead - but Saints held their nerve to win the penalty shootout, 4-2.

Comley, David Keenleyside, Harrison Georgiou and Lee Chappell scored from the spot while Paul Bastock saved one.

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