St Albans City manager admits ‘we got our backsides smacked’ after FA Cup draw with Cambridge City

PUBLISHED: 10:33 18 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:33 18 September 2017

Cambridge City celebrate another goal. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Cambridge City celebrate another goal. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Robert Walkley

Ian Allinson is grateful St Albans City are still in the FA Cup after they were held to a 3-3 draw against Cambridge City at Clarence Park.

St Albans City's Rhys Murrell-Williamson. Picture: BOB WALKLEYSt Albans City's Rhys Murrell-Williamson. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Things looked to be going perfectly to plan on Saturday when Saints took a 2-0 lead after just 18 minutes through Sam Merson and Rhys Murrell-Williamson.

Both Cambridge came back in it with a goal right on the stroke of half-time from Ryan Sharman before Mason Spence levelled things up midway through the second period.

Merson seemed to have spared Saints’ blushes with his second but Ross Paterson’s goal eight minutes from time ensured a replay at St Ives Town’s Westwood Road gorund tonight (Monday).

And the City manager was a relieved man.

St Albans City's players walk back to the centre circle after being pegged back by Cambridge City in the FA Cup. Picture: BOB WALKLEYSt Albans City's players walk back to the centre circle after being pegged back by Cambridge City in the FA Cup. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

“For 25 minutes we were outstanding,” he said. “We approached the game correctly, we did everything we needed to do, we moved the ball quickly and we should have gone on and got a third goal.

“And then we switched off, we got sloppy and we got our backsides smacked for the next 65 minutes.

“Full credit to Cambridge City, they sniffed there was an opportunity and they got a lifeline before half-time.

“We never really got going in the second half and I’ve always said the hardest thing in football is to switch back on after you’ve switched off.

Sam Merson nods home at the far post. Picture: BOB WALKLEYSam Merson nods home at the far post. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

“And we got fortunate. When they got to 2-2 they looked more likely to go on and win it.

“They deserved the draw in the end.

“I’m sitting here now and I’m actually relieved we’re still in Monday’s draw because we’ve got an opportunity I didn’t think we’d get in the last 10, 15 minutes.

“Dean Snedker was probably the one person to come off the park with any credit. He’s kept us in the game with two or three good saves in the last 20 minutes.”

Lee and Ian Allinson watch on as St Albans City are held to a draw in the FA Cup by Cambridge City. Picture: BOB WALKLEYLee and Ian Allinson watch on as St Albans City are held to a draw in the FA Cup by Cambridge City. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Allinson will now turn his attention to the replay and hinted at changing things around.

He said: “I’ve got six or seven subs that didn’t play so I’ve got fresh legs that we can put in there if we need to freshen things up.

“But we’ve got to go there and show some resilience.

“It’s such a shame because for 25 minutes we were very good but we’ve done that now for three or four games. We had opportunities when we were 2-0 up to kill the game off.

“There’s lots to work on and think about but we need more like the first 25 minutes.”

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