Solid defence pleases Gray

PUBLISHED: 23:04 04 August 2014 | UPDATED: 23:04 04 August 2014

John  Kyriacou fires in a cross

John Kyriacou fires in a cross

Archant

St Albans City’s players gave their managers something to smile about on Monday night after holding League Two Stevenage to a 1-1 draw thanks to an outstanding defensive display.

City’s defensive frailties have been well documented this pre-season but against a very young Boro side they were superb. James Kaloczi started at centre back alongside Tom Ward and they thwarted all but one of Boro’s attacks – the one they scored from – while the visitor’s wingers were nullified by full-backs Lee Chappell and John Kyriacou.

Defensive midfielder Danny Green also played his part, putting in a solid performance.

After the game, joint manager James Gray said: “I thought it was a decent run out and much improved from Saturday’s [win over Ware], especially defensively and shape-wise.

“We contained everything they had. We asked the lads to play with more structure and not be so expansive because a team like [Stevenage] could have torn up apart but, over the 90 minutes, we were the better side and were unlucky not to win it.”

He added: “We’ve only really spoken about defensive work with the games coming thick and fast and all the fitness work we’ve done.

“The lads did what we asked and [Stevenage] didn’t carve us open. I thought we had the better chances throughout the game and were unfortunate not to win it.

“We’ll work on pattern of play, shape, set pieces and balance of the side this week, and throughout the season, so we’re even more improved for Saturday.”

The Saints open their Vanarama Conference South season on Saturday at home against Hayes and Yeading. Kick-off 3pm.

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