Striker tops Castle's wishlist this Christmas

A STRIKER is top of Steve Castle s wish list this Christmas as he looks to change the fortunes of his shot-shy side. The City boss was forced to play assistant manager Mark Peters up front during Saturday s 1-0 defeat to Chelmsford and admitted afterwards

A STRIKER is top of Steve Castle's wish list this Christmas as he looks to change the fortunes of his shot-shy side.

The City boss was forced to play assistant manager Mark Peters up front during Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Chelmsford and admitted afterwards that he was running out of options.

"With the budget we've got we're really competing and it'd be great if we could get a seasoned striker but let's be honest - if they're going to be costing a lot of money we can't afford it and if they're doing well at a football club and scoring goals, why would the football club let them go?" Castle told the Herts Advertiser.

"I haven't got an awful lot else. Gary's (Cohen) a little bit of an enigma, Drew (Roberts) does ok, he might need someone big and strong alongside him - I thought their centre halves were excellent and I think Mark will get a lot more possession in other games. It's just about trying to get a permutation until we can get this elusive striker."

Ricky Holmes got the only goal of the game for the visitors on Saturday as they climbed up to fourth in the Blue Square South table. Despite the Clarets' lofty league position Castle wasn't overly impressed with the opposition, something that has become a recurring theme this season.

"I think everybody is going to be turning everybody over," added the City boss. "I certainly don't see Chelmsford getting themselves on a run, they certainly didn't show me anything other than the lad Holmes who I thought was fantastic. Other than that they were a quite ordinary team.

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"You could say the same about Newport even though they beat us and I haven't really seen anything Bromley included so it's all about us and getting our standards up.

"Lets be honest, we've near enough - bar Bath City, Thurrock, Maidenhead and Dover - played everybody and I haven't seen anything really outstanding in this league."

Castle felt his side were guilty of over-complicating things as they fell to their third home defeat of the season.

The Saints enjoyed the better of the possession but were unable to test Ashley Harrison who looked very uncomfortable in the Chelmsford goal.

"I think we over-complicate things," said an exasperated Castle. "When the ball gets in wide areas the ball's got to try and come in with quality crosses and when you get in and around the box you've got to get your shots off. We're looking for an incredible ball that never happens.

"We huffed and puffed, we got possession but my analysis of it is we over complicate things. We've got to get more crosses in, more shots then you might get some deflections, you might get chances from set plays though our set plays were awful again. We just shoot ourselves in the foot all the time."

The game threatened to descend into chaos as the two sets of players clashed on the halfway line following a foul.

Dave Rainford was lucky to stay on the pitch after appearing to raise an elbow to Drew Roberts' throat with both players picking up yellow cards for their part in the incident but Castle played down the altercation.

"I'm going to do an Arsene Wenger - I didn't see that. It was an incident that came out of nothing - there's an awful lot of moaning and squealing at this level and I don't like to see it. If someone fouls a player you take your punishment... but it seems like there's a great big fuss over it when there's a half naughty challenge."

The Saints City Trust is running a coach for Trust Members to City's game at Dover Athletic on Saturday, December 19.

The coach, which is being shared with the Saints' players, leaves Clarence Road at 9.30am and the fares are �16 for adults and �12 for juniors.

To book your place on the coach visit the club shop before Saturday's game with Bromley or ring Peter Knock on (01727) 847484 or Ian Bangs on 07733 381874.