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Gray Praises The Spirit Of His Players

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James Gray praised the spirit of the his St Albans City players after they fought back from being a man down and a goal down to earn a point at Maidenhead United in the Vanarama Conference South.

James Comley was dismissed inside 10 minutes for a off-the-ball incident with former Leicester and Blackburn striker DJ Campbell and from the resulting free-kick, Dave Tarpey curled the ball past the otherwise outstanding Joe Welch.

The Saints fought back and Michael Malcolm levelled with his second goal in two games. In the second half, Reece Tison-Lascaris received his marching orders for kicking out at James Kaloczi and, with 10 men each, the game ended 1-1, St Albans' third draw of the campaign.

Speaking to Saintsnet after the game, joint manager Gray said: "The lads never gave it. We managed to regroup, reshuffle the pack and dig in to get the equaliser before half-time. After their sending off the game was a bit scrappy and stretched; the pitch didn't allow for free flowing football."

"Two months back we wouldn't have won that point, so I'm happy with it.

"With 11 men I think we could have won the game. They've been on a bad run and we started so well, that's the disappointing thing, but we didn't get beat. We had good shape and got back into the game."

The game was full of positives for City, with Gray name-dropping James Kaloczi, Joe Welch, Michael Malcolm, Omar Beckles and Darren Locke for their performances.

But Comley's sending off and Sam Corcoran's 10th yellow card of the season, which will see them serve three and two game bans respectively, is most certainly a negative from St Albans' trip to York Road.

"I haven't seen it so can't comment but the assistant has said he's raised his arm. We'll have a chat with him but he's apologised to the boys," said Gray.

"Corkers has all the attributes to be a tidy player, a great passer and keep the ball, but we've asked him to be more physical. We'll miss them but when one door closes, another opens. We've still got David Keenleyside, Manny Soetan, Matt Taylor, who is close to coming back, and Charlie Smith."

The Saints don't have a game this weekend. They are next in action away at Chelmsford City on February 7.

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