Whitehawk defeat was ‘one of the worst’ St Albans City performances this season laments Allinson

St Albans City manager Ian Allinson. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

St Albans City manager Ian Allinson. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

St Albans City manager Ian Allinson labelled the first half of their FA Trophy defeat to Whitehawk as “one of the worst we’ve played all season”.

A late Wilfred Tagbo goal had forced Saturday’s game on the south coast to be replayed at Clarence Park last night (Tuesday) but any hopes City had of benefitting from home advantage disappeared with a Danny Mills goal in a 1-0 loss.

Allinson said: “We had to make some changes in the shape and personnel [after their goal] and we’ve had two or three really good chances to get an equaliser and go on and win it. But this was probably one game too far for us.

“[The injury to Ben Martin] didn’t help with our shape and we struggled to get to grips with Mills. It took us 15 minutes to get used to it with that but we probably created two of the best chances in that period; Junior Morias could have put us ahead.

“But after that we came under pressure and we started to give the ball away cheaply and the first half was one of the worst we’ve played all season, nearly as bad as at Bath.

“We can’t bemoan too much what happened. We didn’t play well enough and didn’t have that spark we’ve had in previous weeks.

“It was a little bit cold maybe for one or two. It was a disappointing performance for me. We’re better than that; we have to be better than that if we’re going to progress up the league and it’s important we bounce back and get all three points against Eastbourne on Saturday.

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“We didn’t move the ball well enough. We didn’t get the opportunities to get shots away and when we got it out wide, our crossing was poor.

“We just started to lump it in with height and their defenders were quite happy to go and head it. We huffed and puffed but in the end we didn’t get enough quality in and around the box.

“We’re looking to get the perfect goal now when we should be doing the basics, getting the ball into certain areas and putting teams under pressure.

“I felt a few of the lads thought the game was won on Saturday and all we had to do was turn up tonight and win.

“We have no divine right to win any game of football. We have to earn the right and for me we didn’t do that.”

There could, however, be one small crumb of comfort from the defeat.

As it stands City’s exit means December 10 will see them without a game. But Allinson is hopeful that will change.

“Hopefully we can get [the game in hand] with Margate on that day,” he admitted. “I’m sure they will want a home game plus it’ll help us going down there on a Saturday and not midweek.

“It makes it better having a game rather than a free weekend but to be fair I’d rather be playing Weymouth [in the FA Trophy].”