Saints caught giving the ball away too much at Hampton as they slip back down again

Zane Banton put St Albans City ahead at Hampton but they couldn't hold onto the win. Picture: LEIGH

Zane Banton put St Albans City ahead at Hampton but they couldn't hold onto the win. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

A lack of quality in the final third of the pitch was the main reason for St Albans City falling to a 2-1 defeat at Hampton & Richmond Borough according to manager Ian Allinson.

Zane Banton had fired them ahead on seven minutes, part of a bright opening by the visitors to the Beveree for the National League South clash.

However, slowly the hosts gained a foothold and goals from Luke Ruddick and Ryan Hill seven minutes apart in the middle portion of the first half proved enough.

Those goals left Saints chasing the game ultimatel in vain but both were avoidable according to Allinson.

He said: "The first 20 minutes was excellent. We were bright, we were on the front foot and scored the goal and we had a couple of other half-chances.

"But after that our ball retention in the forward areas wasn't good enough which didn't allow us to get further up the pitch.

"They felt their way into the game and with the chances we gave them in that spell they managed to get two goals and it gave them the lift they were after.

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"There wasn't much in it during the second half. We were chasing the game and that was always going to leave us a little bit exposed.

"Their second goal was a lapse in concentration from us. We had a drop ball on the edge of their 18-yard box and before we knew where we were we were 2-1 down.

"The lads put a lot of application in and worked really hard and we got into four or five really good areas in the second half but our final cross or our final decision wasn't good enough.

"That's what has let us down."

Top-scorer Joe Iaciofano had a frustrating day in front of goal and was eventually hauled off by the boss on 76 minutes.

And Allinson says he expected more from the 21-year-old.

He said: "Joe's performance wasn't good enough and I've told him that. He has scored 15 goals [this season] but he's got to do his work in and around the 18-yard box.

"In the first-half he was picking the ball up in right-wing areas, left-wing areas and in areas where he wasn't going to be a threat.

"He's scored all his goals by being in the box and when you've got target men like Jefferson Louis or Sam Merson, you have to work around them.

"We can talk about him being the top goalscorer but there is also the other side of the game that has to be right.

"You have to work hard for the team and you have to be a team member and not an individual.

"He'll work hard though. He's one of those players who thinks hard about his game and he wants to improve.

"He was excellent in training on Thursday and that's why I expected more from him."