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St Albans City boss Golds praises spirit after AFC Totton win boosts play-off hopes
St Albans City joint manager Graham Golds insists the atmosphere and team morale within the squad is currently at its highest level since taking charge of the side in December.
The Saints earned their third consecutive win after a 3-0 victory over AFC Totton which fired them to within one point of the Evostick Southern Premier Division play-offs.
He claims the team spirit is soaring and is hoping that this can help carry them into the top-five this season.
Golds said: “It was the best it’s been all season after the game. They were cheering and it was rowdy. The confidence and team morale is there at the moment which is a nice feeling. It’s the best it has been since we took charge.
“We were happy with the all-round performance and it's great to get three wins in a row. To score 12 goals in three games is good. We were pleased because everyone put a shift in.”
St Albans made a fast start as they took a 2-0 lead into the break at Clarence Park. Skipper James Comley sent in a cross which striker Greg Ngoyi was able to flick home for the opening goal. The Saints doubled their lead when the ball fell to Chris Henry and he made no mistake netting his tenth goal of the season.
The hosts sealed the three points in the second half when Comley’s cross flicked off the head of James Coutts and Brad Wadkins volleyed in at the back post.
Golds, whose side thrashed Kettering Town away 6-2 last week, said: “Totton don’t have the greatest away record so we knew that we had get into them early on and try to knock their confidence. We came in at half-time 2-0 up having taken our chances well so we were more than happy with our lead. Everything was going to plan.
“We said before Saturday that we’ve got eight cup finals left and we’ve just got to look after ourselves.
“We need to win as many of those as possible and hopefully that will be enough to get in the play-offs. Three wins on the bounce have brought us right back into it and that’s what happens in a league like this.
“Greg has been outstanding and scoring 11 in 14 games is a good ratio. He is on fire and is a poacher.”
Joint manager James Gray found himself out of pocket after the match after offering his side £100 for a clean sheet but Golds claims they will be happy to pay out if it brings success.
He said: “We wanted to start getting clean sheets. So James said to the players he’d give them £100 for each clean sheet this season as long as we are in the hunt for the play-offs.
“I think he will try to get some money out of me. We're happy if the team are getting clean sheets but it could get quite costly with seven games left!
“We were very pleased with the way we defended. It was probably our best defensive performance since we’ve come in. The back four were excellent and Nick Jupp also made a couple of important saves.”
St Albans’ next match is a trip to Bedford Town this weekend and Golds believes his side have to take a few risks because draws probably won’t be enough to reach the play-offs.
The joint manager said: “Bedford have been on a good run until recently and they’re also in the play-off hunt as well. But if we can beat them then it will put the nail in their coffin as far as that’s concerned. We just have to keep battling.
“We’re not setting any targets but we know that drawing games is a wasted opportunity so we have started taking a few more risks in order to go for the wins. We are gambling on the three points because I think we need to have that positive mentality rather than just settling for a draw.”