St Albans City boss insists Arlesey Town scoreline did not flatter them

John Frendo opened the scoring for the Saints: Robert Walkley

John Frendo opened the scoring for the Saints: Robert Walkley

First published in Local Sport

St Albans City joint manager James Gray insists the 5-0 scoreline did not flatter his team after they thrashed Arlesey Town.

The Saints dominated the clash against ten- man Town and secured their biggest win of the season to keep themselves in the Southern Premier Division play-off spots.

Gray, whose side travel to Burnham tonight, said: “We’re very pleased with that. I thought in general we controlled the whole game. I know they went down to ten men but I actually thought we played a little bit better when they had a full complement on there.

“As soon as they went down to ten men they were going to make it very difficult for us to break them down. But a 5-0 scoreline doesn’t really flatter us and we’re happy to get the clean sheet and the three points as well. So all round it’s been a good Saturday for us.”

John Frendo’s penalty made it 1-0 and was the Saints’ 100th goal of the season. James Comley doubled the lead before former City striker Barry Hayles was sent off for comments directed at the referee.

The hosts pummelled Arlesey in the second half but had to wait until the 90th minute for the third goal.

Richard Graham scored his first league goal for 13 months before Frendo and Jamal Lowe finished the scoring.

Gray said: “They defended well in the second half but we still had plenty of chances so as management you’re always happy when you’re creating the chances. But on the flip side you’re a bit frustrated that you’re not taking as many as we should be.

“They scored five goals but it could have been so much more.”

Frendo’s brace kept him on track to finish as the league’s top scorer again and Gray thinks he will take some stopping.

He said: “Frendo is an absolute animal when it comes to goals and he’s going to take some stopping. The way we’re playing and the form we’re hitting he could quite easily make another run for the leading scorer in the league.

“That will be good for him and if he does that then he’s going to help us along the way to where we want to be.”

The Saints signed former Wealdstone midfielder Peter Dean last week and he was handed his debut off the bench on Saturday.

Gray said: “I’ve known Peter for years. I played with him and against him. He’s a very honest player. He works his socks off for the team, gets his fair share of goals and he’s very versatile. He can play in different positions. I thought he came on and did great for us. He held it up well, created a couple of opportunities and was unlucky not to get a goal himself.

“He’s only going to get better. He’s not played a lot of football this season but as soon as he became available we got him in because we’re looking to strengthen to push towards the end of the season and get right into those players.”

The Saints are not in action this weekend and Gray is looking forward to giving his squad some much-needed recuperation time ahead of next Tuesday’s return game at Arlesey Town.

Gray said: “It will be nice to have a little week’s rest because the lads have done so much since the season started. It will be a nice little change for us on Saturday when we’re having a bit of a get together which should help with the camaraderie.”

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