St Albans City joint manager James Gray believes his side can use the festive fixtures to boost their promotion push

St Albans & Harpenden Review: John Frendo struck the Saints third goal against Weymouth John Frendo struck the Saints third goal against Weymouth

St Albans City joint manager James Gray believes his side are more than capable of pushing for promotion in the Calor League Premier Division after the Saints defeated Weymouth 3-0 on Saturday.

St Albans are unbeaten in their last seven league matches and have won six of those. The Saints are currently eighth in the division but have games in hand on the teams above them.

Gray’s side have a busy festive schedule and play four Premier Division matches in the space of 12 days. He believes it will be a good chance to pick up points and push up the table.

He explained: “We have a lot of games coming up but we go into those with momentum and confidence, there is nobody in this league who scares us.

“It is not going to be an easy month and we are playing two games a week but it is a good chance for us to pick up points.

“We have games in hand and we know if we win those then we can move into around third or fourth place in the table.

“On paper we have matches we can win but it is never as easy as that.”

He continued: “Graham (Golds) and I have been in the job almost a year now and the club has made progress in that time.

“We lost so many players last season that our aim was to stabilise and then build our squad over the summer.

“We worked very hard to bring in players and we knew we would be able to mount a challenge for promotion.

“We have a good squad and we can still get stronger. We believe we can push for promotion.”

The Saints kept their third consecutive clean sheet during the win against Weymouth but Gray wasn’t pleased with St Albans’ first-half display.

His side went ahead in the ninth minute when the ball dropped to James Comley on the edge of the penalty area and he controlled before firing past Jason Matthews.

The Saints eased off as the half progressed and that allowed Weymouth back into the contest. However, Paul Bastock was rarely troubled.

The second period saw St Albans take control and goals from Ben Martin and John Frendo secured victory for the visitors.

Gray said: “We took our foot off the gas a little after getting the early goal and, while Weymouth didn’t threaten our goal, they were winning more second balls and looked sharper.

“So I was pleased to get the players in at half-time and we had a chat. After that we were superb and played very well. So the result took care of itself from that point.

“It’s our third clean sheet in a row and Ben Martin has been very good for us. Ben has had a frustrating season with injuries but he has done the job we knew he could do along with Tom Ward.”

St Albans are in FA Trophy second round action on Saturday and face a tough game against Skrill Premier leaders Cambridge United.

The U’s have lost just two games in all competitions this season and Gray admits his side must be at their best if they are to have any hope of advancing in the competition.

He said: “I watched their game on Sunday and they are a strong and physical side who have tricky wingers which could cause us problems.

“It will be a difficult game for us and we will need to be at our best and hope they have an off day.

“But it is a cup competition and you never know what can happen. We played Mansfield in the FA Cup and for 70 minutes matched them.

“So I know the players are able to compete against stronger sides and maybe we can cause an upset and make it through and be in the hat for the next round.”

  • James Comley has been named the Harpenden Construction Limited Player of the Month for November.

His award will be presented by Phill Spokes, CEO of allseven24, before this weekend's match against Cambridge United.


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