St Albans City boss insists side are a major scalp in their league

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Mark Nwokeji celebrates scoring for the Saints at the weekend: Robert Walkley Mark Nwokeji celebrates scoring for the Saints at the weekend: Robert Walkley

St Albans City joint manager Graham Golds insists the Southern Premier Division is an unforgiving league and claims the Saints are a scalp for their rivals.

The Saints could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to St Neots Town on Saturday as their opponents, who are fifth bottom in the table, came away from Clarence Park with a point.

Golds has warned his side about the dangers of dropping their guard against other teams in the division and insists St Albans are there to be shot at because of their stature at this level.

He said: “It’s an unforgiving league and you will get rolled over if some of your players are off their game. The pitches are getting heavier and you will see some strange results. Sides are coming down here and they want to take a scalp. We’re one of the biggest clubs in the league so it is always a scalp against us.

“We have to match those sides for their work ethic and then our better quality should tell.”

Although St Neots Town are struggling in the table, Golds insists their opponents are in a false position and are capable of taking points off the promotion contenders this season.

Golds said: “Their position in the league table doesn’t show where they are as a squad. Gary King has gone in and they have had an influx of new players in their squad.

“They are no mugs. They have brought in a lot of players and are trying to improve their position in the table. They will move up the league quickly and will give a lot of the top teams a run for their money so we’ve done pretty well to take four points off them.”

Golds had no complaints with his side’s display and felt his team were a bit unfortunate not to come away with their second win against St Neots Town this season.

He said: “I thought we edged it so we’re a bit disappointed that we didn’t pick up the three points. I was happy with the performance although perhaps we could have done a bit better in the final third and got more shots away. But on the balance of play we were just unhappy with the result and not the performance.”

The Saints fell behind when Simon Thomas took advantage of a poor clearance from Ram Marwa and fired past Paul Bastock.

But the hosts grabbed a quick first-half equaliser with a scrappy goal as Mark Nwokeji netted his 15th of the season.

Golds said: “It was nice to see the lads put in a better performance. I think it was a decent all-round team performance and we moved the ball around well. We kept possession and tried to get deliveries into the box.

“They’re a big side that will always cause us problems in the air.”

He added: “The performance was one of our best this season especially in the first half. After the break we made a couple of changes and we lost a bit of momentum.”

He added: “It was against the run of play that we went behind but we got that back quickly through our equaliser. To go behind and come back we showed a bit of character and we got a point out of it which is another game without defeat.”

It was their biggest attendance at Clarence Park in this league as 812 fans turned out and Golds is hopeful the supporters will return to help their promotion bid during the rest of this season.

He said: “It was our best home crowd in the league which was good. A few of the lads went out last week and gave out tickets in schools. It was nice to see so many young kids here and hopefully they will come back for the next home game. It’s only going to help us.

“It does make a difference to the lads and gives them a lift and that extra bit of energy.”

St Albans have another home match this weekend as they entertain Arlesey Town. The Saints are currently in the play-off spots and Golds expects their challenge to get tougher with a busy fixture list due to the winter postponements.

The manager said: “We’re still in fifth with a couple of games in hand. It’s going to be hard because with the weather we could get more postponements. The games will start to mount up and we will have to keep everyone as fit as possible.”

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