Ian Allinson accused his St Albans City players of underestimating their opposition as lowly Whitehawk held the Saints to a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

With the hosts sitting rock bottom of the National League South table and City firmly in the play-off places, Allinson would have fancied his side’s chances.

However, a 16th minute strike from Papa Gueye left them chasing the game and they were fortunate to equalise through Charlie Walker’s cross which found the net.

The manner in which City approached the game frustrated Allinson and he wasn’t shy in criticising his players.

“I don’t think we started well and I don’t think we paid enough attention to the opposition. I said to the players before the game that they should ignore the table,” Allinson said.

“I think some of our players didn’t adhere to what we told them before the game and before we knew where we were we were 1-0 down.

“We were fortunate to get back into the game. We pressed the game and had a lot more possession in the second half, but we didn’t work hard enough today.”

The home side’s go ahead goal will not make for pleasant viewing after Michael Cain was given carte blanche to stroll through the City defence.

His shot was well saved by Dean Snedker but the rebound fell invitingly for Gueye to turn home.

The ease with which City were undone annoyed Allinson and he was critical of his defenders in the wake of the draw.

“I think we tried to play offside and we thought he was going to play the ball through for the runner, so everyone stood still and he took it himself,” he said.

“Before we knew where he was he was through on goal and it is poor defending. The two centre-backs are isolated and we didn’t pick up the 10 who ran.”

To the Saints’ credit they battled back into the game and were better after drawing level through Walker’s 43rd minute strike.

They had the better of the second half, but produced precious little to worry Simon Jorgensen in the Whitehawk goal.

Having played three times in a week, Allinson accepted his side may be struggling with fatigue, but refused to blame the draw on the issue.

“I think we only had one shot on target the whole game, which is a disappointment for the amount of possession we had,” he said.

“We dictated play more in the second half, but I just felt there wasn’t a sharpness to us today.

“There was a little bit of tiredness in the legs and I don’ want to use that as an excuse.”

While a draw against a side without a win this season can be seen as nothing other than two points dropped, City remain in a positive league position.

They have moved up to third after respective loses for Dartford and East Thurrock United and are two points behind leaders Truro City.

At the time of going to press City were preparing to face East Thurrock on Tuesday evening.

That match is followed by a return to FA Cup commitments when they face Bridport on Saturday.

City will have the advantage of home comforts for the third qualifying clash which kicks off at 3pm.