Saints boss believes Tonbridge Angels performances are a new high (From St Albans & Harpenden Review)
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St Albans City boss believes Tonbridge Angels performances were best since taking over
St Albans City joint manager Graham Golds believes their two performances in the FA Trophy victory over Tonbridge Angels are the best since taking charge of the club.
The Saints battled with ten men for almost the entire game in their 0-0 draw at the Conference South side on Saturday.
But St Albans crushed their higher league opponents 4-0 in Monday’s replay to book a second round tie at home to Conference leaders Cambridge United on December 14.
Golds said: “It was a great performance from the lads. That has to be up there. Going down to them as underdogs and getting a result along with Monday’s win was great. I think the two games tops everything we’ve done so far.”
He added: “We’re really proud of the lads. To go down to ten men against a side in a higher division and get a draw was outstanding. But to then beat them 4-0 topped that.”
Saints keeper Paul Bastock was forced into a vital early save on Monday at Clarence Park when he pushed away Mark Lovell’s header.
James Comley opened the scoring in unlikely fashion as his 25th minute corner managed to beat visiting keeper Lewis Carey and go directly into the net.
St Albans dominated the rest of the half but had to wait until the 57th minute to extend their lead.
Comley delivered a pinpoint pass which released Mark Nwokeji and he fired home his 11th goal of the season.
This sparked a run of three goals in 16 minutes as the Saints blew away Tonbridge.
The hosts made it 3-0 when a flowing team move finished with the excellent Howard Hall hammering the ball into the net.
St Albans completed a resounding win in the 73rd minute when Chris Henry’s 15-yard strike somehow slipped through the fingers of Carey.
Golds said: “When we have fielded our strongest side then we haven’t lost apart from Mansfield Town.
“They have a great team spirit and don’t know when they are beaten. We have a resilience and the good thing is we’re keeping clean sheets because there are always goals in us.”
In the first match between the sides, St Albans were forced to play with ten men for 87 minutes after the dismissal of midfielder Richard Graham for an alleged elbow.
The Saints wanted to appeal the decision as they protested his innoncence but Tonbridge’s failure to provide the video footage by the deadline on Monday means he will be banned for three games.
Golds said: “I’ve watched it and he is completely innocent. The video wasn’t released by Tonbridge until it was too late and we used that as part of our team talk because it galvanised the players.”
Their reward is a lucrative home tie against Conference pacesetters Cambridge United later this month and the manager insists the players are up to the challenge.
Golds said: “Apart from Luton, it’s the next biggest tie we could get. Cambridge should bring a lot of people so hopefully there will be a big turnout.
“Cambridge are top of the Conference and are flying at the moment. But it will be great to pit our wits against them and they will be the ones in fear of a shock. For us, we have nothing to lose.”
The Saints boss continued: “Everyone was disappointed with the Mansfield result in the FA Cup. It was never an 8-1 result but the players still picked up the papers and saw the score.
“Everyone will try to put the record straight to show what we are capable of.
“The lads were down after that defeat and they will look to put that right against Cambridge.
“We have proved that we can hold our own against teams in the league above having beaten Chelmsford and Tonbridge in this competition.”
Golds has turned his attention to the league where they face Weymouth this weekend.
He said: “We have to try and push up the league. That was our priority at the start of the season and we just need to get out of this league.”
There is a St Albans City team and supporters coach going to Weymouth for the Calor League Premier Division game on Saturday.
The coach will depart at 9.30am from the Clarence Park entrance to the ground.
Since the coach has a limited number of seats available, anyone going should book as early as possible.
To reserve £20 seats, call Ian Rogers on 07714 145862.
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