‘We can’t afford to give teams a head start’ - Golds

Charlie Sheringham scoring Ebbsfleets first of the afternoon

Charlie Sheringham scoring Ebbsfleets first of the afternoon - Credit: Archant

St Albans City need to shore up defensively from the very beginning of games if they want to pick up points, according to joint manager Graham Golds.

For the fourth time this year, the Saints conceded an early goal and went on to lose the game. Against Eastbourne, Hayes & Yeading and Sutton, St Albans went a goal down early and today was no different – Charlie Sheringham headed Ebbsfleet into a 13th minute lead.

It’s a habit that City can’t afford to keep.

“We made it hard for ourselves going in 2-0 down at half-time,” explained Golds.

“I set them only one challenge: as a team I wanted to come in at half-time with a clean sheet. We have been conceding early goals in games and gone on to lose those games so today wanted to come in with a clean sheet but we were 2-0 down.

“Again, it was a set piece. It was déjà vu. The guy has got a free header at the near post at we’re 1-0 down and we’ve got our backs against the wall after 12 minutes.”

He added: “It was hard today; they’re a decent outfit, very big and physical all around the park. We didn’t give ourselves the best chance by going in at half time 2-0 down.”

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Despite giving Fleet at 2-0 “head start”, the Saints clawed their way back into the game at the beginning of the second half as Steve Wales scored his third league goal of the season.

However, any chance of a comeback dissipated when David Keenleyside picked up two yellow cards in two minutes and was sent off.

It was a farcical sending off. First he received a yellow card because the referee didn’t see him come off the bench in place of debutant Charlie Gorman, despite the assistant allowing him to enter the field of play. He then got tangled up in a challenge and was shown a red card.

“It was harsh,” said Golds.

“The referee has admitted his part in it. Harry Wheeler said he spoke to the linesman and he said yes that Keeno could go on. I think lino has got confused when Charlie came off injured and Keeno went on; I think he though it was the same player.

“Keeno got to think more sensibly than making challenge just outside their box. Then we’re down to 10 and never going to get anything from the game.”

St Albans are next in action on Monday against Bromley. Kick-off 7.45pm at Clarence Park.