Oxford City 1-4 St Albans City – Post-match quotes
By Harley George
St Albans City progressed into the third round of the FA Trophy, as they came out 4-1 victors away at Court Place Farm, against Oxford City on Saturday afternoon.
St Albans City Manager, Ian Allinson, was quick to praise his team’s ability to stay in control of the match and reflected on the important away win.
“I think the score line makes it seem convincing, but it was a tough game. I think it was a really good, entertaining game, in really difficult conditions.”
By Harley George
“Certainly at 3-1, they [Oxford City] had a couple of chances to get back to 3-2 and I think if they’d have scored then, it would have been a really interesting game. We [St Albans City] managed to get a fourth and they had a player sent off which made it a bit more comfortable in the last 10 minutes”
Serial finisher, Shaun Jeffers, was back on the scoresheet once again, as he scored a wonderful hat-trick to cruise his side to victory in Oxfordshire. This hat-trick added to his prolific goalscoring record this season, increasing his tally up to 23 goals (in all competitions).
Allinson highlighted the importance and value of the lethal striker, for his side, this campaign.
“He’s just astounding really, how he plays upfront on his own with no one around him and bags a hat-trick again. He’s been like this all season and it’s fantastic from Shaun’s point of view – and that’s a fantastic return for where we are in the season.”
Prior to this cup tie, St Albans suffered back-to-back home defeats in the National League South, first losing to Dulwich Hamlet, 4-3 and then Hungerford Town, 3-1. A break away from league action seems to have done the trick for the Saints.
“I felt we started on the back foot last week, as I feel we did today – but it is a bounce back and we needed that for our confidence but, we didn’t play poorly in those two games, we were just a bit unfortunate”, Allinson added.
Saints midfielder, Kyran Wiltshire, scored St Albans’ fourth goal of the match to kill off the game in the 82nd minute. That was just his second goal for the club, which came at the expense of his former employers.
“It felt great, was about time I got on the score sheet, felt even better to get the win after the previous result - they kept on us and they were a very organised team, but I think the boys did really well.”
For the home side, it was a frustrating afternoon which saw them exit the competition much earlier than their 2020/21 FA Trophy run, where they made it to the Quarter Finals.
Oxford City Manager, David Oldfield expressed his disappointment with the avoidable mistakes made by his in-form side.
“The game was probably tighter than the score line suggests, and we’ve [Oxford City] made errors, which in recent weeks we haven’t done too many of.”
“There’s been some criticism after the game, but they are all reminders of our standards and how we need to work. We’ll put it down as big lessons learned, and we’ll move on.”
Despite The Hoops’ strong start to the National League South campaign, as they strive for promotion this season, Oldfield was quick to reject any accusations about the early cup exits being a positive, as the Oxford based side also crashed out of the FA Cup this season in the second qualifying round.
“I think the cups are equally as important and we’ve let ourselves down, and it’s not acceptable that we feel we can get defeated in the cup and just batted off. We can’t, it’s very important to the club, the players and to all of us here.”
Oldfield’s side will next take on title contenders, Ebbsfleet United in the National League South, hoping to bounce back from their heavy defeat.
“We can take some positives from today. We know how difficult the tests and the challenges in front of us are, and there are few teams that will be a bigger challenge to us than Ebbsfleet.”
Meanwhile, St Albans City turn their attention to Tuesday night, as they travel to Longmead Stadium to face Tonbridge Angels in the league, as they await their potential opponents for the FA Trophy third round.