St Albans City boss determined to spoil leaders Hemel Hempstead Town's party

St Albans & Harpenden Review: The Saints celebrate a goal during their win over Burnham: Leigh Page The Saints celebrate a goal during their win over Burnham: Leigh Page

St Albans City joint manager James Gray insists his side are determined to spoil leaders Hemel Hempstead Town’s push for promotion this weekend.

Hemel are closing in on the Southern Premier Division title but the Saints can consolidate their play-off place as they seek a fourth consecutive win.

Gray said: “I think they have been the most consistent side this season. They have won game after game and I think on merit they should be crowned champions.

“But we want to spoil their party and make it even tighter at the top. I can’t see them dropping enough points for us to catch them but we could still finish second.”

The Saints will be without the suspended Paul Bastock and John Frendo this weekend but James Comley is available to return.

Gray said: “I don’t think it will be a game that Hemel will cherish. They will see us in a bit of form and probably would want an easier match. It’s a game we are looking forward to and all the pressure is on Hemel Hempstead.

“But if we could get a win then it would give us real belief for the run-in and heading towards the play-offs.”

The Saints remain third in the table after they eased to a 5-2 home win over Burnham on Saturday.

Gray believes the side have emerged from their dip in form at just the right time as they target promotion this season.

The St Albans boss said: “I feel that we are getting momentum at just the right time of the season.

“We had a bit of a dip in confidence recently but the lads have worked hard and it has paid off recently with four wins and a draw in our last five league games.”

The Saints were without top scorer Frendo due to suspension but the side coped well without the striker as they brushed aside Burnham at Clarence Park.

Gray said: “It is encouraging because we needed to score goals from other areas and Steve Wales has come in and was superb and took his two goals very well.

“We scored five goals but could have got quite a few more on Saturday.”

Gray continued: “Our form hais picked up and we are comfortably in the play-offs now.

If we were playing in the Ryman Premier Division then we would be second and pushing for top but we just have to try and get as many points as we can in the last five games.”

Gray admits he would be disappointed if they did not finish in the top three as his side currently have a six-point cushion.

He said: “From the position that we are in third place seems the most likely. The end goal is the play-offs but we would like to try and secure a home semi-final.”


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