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Welcome to saintsstatistics.co.uk - this site lists every match St Albans City F.C. has played since it’s formation in 1908.
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19.04.2005 at 19:45 Clarence Park Attendance : 337
St Albans City
1 - 4
Grays Athletic
Referee : Eamonn Smith Conference South-match

Lee Clarke (83)
Stuart Thurgood (67)
Gary Hooper (73, 90)
John Martin (80)
Opening squads
Paul Bastock
Chris Seeby
Scott Cousins
Tom Davis
Ben Martin
Chris Wild
Gary Elphick
Matt Hann
Ranbir Marwa
Kezie Ibe
Lee Clarke
Ashley Bayes
Dean Brennan
John Nutter
Jamie Stuart
Lee Matthews
Stuart Thurgood
Aaron McLean
Dennis Oli
Tony Battersby
John Martin
Mitchell Cole
Chris Zoricich
Gavin Tomlin
Thomas Beech
Nick Roddis
Martin Carthy
Jude Stirling
Ade Olayinka
Gary Hooper
Carl Emberson
Nick Roddis -> Kezie Ibe (51)
Gavin Tomlin -> Matt Hann (71)
Gary Hooper -> Aaron McLean (51)
Yellow cards
Ranbir Marwa (32)
Gary Elphick (63)
Jamie Stuart (61)
Red cards
Ranbir Marwa (47)
Match report

Kezie Ibe under pressure
An evening that began in high spirits for the Saints with confirmation of Colin Lippiatt as manager of St Albans City for the 2005-06 season being supplemented by news of leading goalscorer Lee Clarke and hugely influential goalkeeper Paul Bastock both signing one-year contracts. Although City battled hard against the newly crowned champions of the Nationwide Conference South the party mood had been dampened somewhat by the time referee Eamonn Smith blew his whistle for the final time later in the evening.
Grays fielded a decent side and are clearly intent on winning their final four league games to pass the 100-point barrier, and in beating the Saints for a seventh consecutive time Mark Stimson’s side are now just three wins away from doing so. Saints opted for strength in the air to combat Grays renowned attacking prowess with the lanky back line trio of Gary Elphick, Ben Martin and Chris Wild being supported out wide by wing-backs Scott Cousins and Matt Hann. Also in midfield were Tom Davis, Ram Marwa and Chris Seeby with Kezie Ibe and Lee Clarke in attack. Lippiatt changed tactics during the first half as Grays pushed an extra man forward and City returned to a normal flat back four (technical jargon but it probably means something to someone).
But the biggest change forced upon the City manager came barely two minutes into the second half when Ram Marwa, looking to impress against his former club, collected our 13th dismissal of the season for a second foul on Aaron McLean. Marwa’s first booking seemed a little over zealous for a first offence but his second, knowing that he was walking a thin line, was unnecessarily reckless. Marwa’s departure made life even harder for the Saints but Grays can count themselves lucky to have had all of their XI on the pitch at the final whistle as James Stuart could easily have seen red after using an arm to cynically cut out a Nick Roddis through ball to Clarke; the referee deemed that Clarke would have been running wide, away from goal, to get the ball so was not denied a goalscoring opportunity. City were handed one other yellow card when Elphick was adjudged to have fouled Stuart Thurgood, again it was a disappointing decision by Mr Smith who, other than for his use of his cards, had a decent game.
As for the game itself, it was an entertaining affair although goalmouth activity, certainly during the first half, was limited. Bastock was the busier of the two keepers but generally proceedings were being well marshalled by both defences. Strange thing is, for despite Grays enjoying the balance of the play all they had to show, other than for a couple of dangerous crosses smartly dealt with by Bastock, was a header by the impressive John Martin that was comfortably taken by the Saints keeper.
City, on the other hand, were only thwarted by the woodwork at either end of the half. Hann played a part in both efforts with his free kicks being headed against the crossbar and post by Wild and Elphick respectively.
Hopes of ending our dire run against the Essex club were shattered by Marwa’s second dismissal in a month less than two minutes after the restart. After pondering his options, Lippiatt decided to sacrifice (metaphorically speaking of course) Ibe from the attack and bolster the midfield with the introduction of Nick Roddis. For a while City coped well with the numerical disadvantage but there was always the suspicion that Grays, by some distance the best footballing side to have visited the Park this season, would open up.
That moment arrived on 67 minutes when Thurgood fired in the visitors 50th away league goal of the season. Six minutes later Stuart superbly tackled Gavin Tomlin and then launched a long ball over the both midfields and beyond the Saints backline for substitute Gary Hooper to latch onto and drill past Bastock with a complete lack of ceremony. In between those two goals City could, and should, have pulled level when Hann scampered after Cousins’s ball down the left and cut it into the goalmouth where Davis ought to have scored but managed to deliver a glorious air shot. Maybe it was only justice for the ball looked to be well out of play when Hann retrieved it.
To their credit City maintained a high workrate but Grays were able to knock the ball about with ease, Thurgood and Martin were excellent in midfield and knew instinctively where their teammates were. Certainly the swiftness of the passing in the build up to the third goal, on 80 minutes, demonstrated what could be achieved by working together day-in day-out and it was only fitting that Martin should cap his excellent performance with a fine goal.
St Albans upset the applecart somewhat three minutes later when a through ball by Ben Martin should have been easily cleared up but instead a poor back pass encouraged Clarke to keep going and his persistence was rewarded as he bundled the ball past Ashley Bayes. Just to make it interesting Clarke slid as he reached the ball and was virtually flat out as he clipped it goalwards, his antics clearly confusing Bayes who kindly helped the sphere on it way into the Hatfield Road goal for Clarke’s 32nd strike of the season.
Clarke is six goals clear of Grays highest scorer – Leroy Griffiths – and has exactly double that of the champions’ second highest scorer who is now Hooper who notched his 16th of the season just as the game moved into added time.

Report by David Tavener
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