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27.10.2007 @ 15:00 Clarence Park Attendance : 395
St Albans City
0 - 3
Weston Super Mare
Referee : Ian Crouch Blue Square South-Match

None. Ryan Harley (46, 50)
Gareth Hopkins (69)
Starting Line-ups
Nick Eyre
Hassan Sulaiman
Hasim Deen
Scott Cousins
Paul Semakula
Gary Elphick
Paul Bruce
Danny Morgan
Lee Clarke
James Nash
Damien Batt
Ryan Northmore
Ben Willshire
Barry McConnell
Charlie Comyn-Platt
Craig Rand
Andrew Robertson
Ryan Harley
Marc McGregor
Gareth Hopkins
Ashan Holgate
Aaran Wilson
Marcel McKie
James Archer
Paul Armstrong
Chris Haslam
Reiss Noel
Lewis Powell
Dean Grubb
Simon Heal
Michael Taylor
Craig Loxton
Paul Armstrong -> Hassan Sulaiman (63)
Dean Grubb -> Aaran Wilson(67)
Yellow cards
None. Ashan Holgate (72)
Red cards
None. None
Match report
St Albans City, ebullient following a scintillating midweek victory at Bromley, slumped back into serious trouble at the foot of the Blue Square South table on Saturday with a resounding defeat at Clarence Park to a mediocre Weston-super-Mare side.
With a solitary point from their opening seven home games City are celebrating their centenary year by equalling their worst start to the home leg of any season and with just a single shot on target against Tony Ricketts side there was scant suggestion that the run was about to end.
Saints boss Dave Anderson was forced into one change with Danny Morgan playing alongside Lee Clarke as a rib injury ruled out Craig O’Connor. Weston, after two successive heavy defeats, gave a debut to central defender Charlie Comyn-Platt.
The opening 45 minutes were even, if only for the fact that neither side was able to break down defences that are normally as reliable as a vote of confidence from the board at Tottenham. But City did almost find a way through on 19 minutes when Clarke put Damian Batt through only for Craig Rand to make the first of two excellent blocks.
Hassan Sulaiman, who was later to sustain a hamstring injury, sliced high and wide the first shot of the afternoon on 23 minutes before a long kick by Nick Eyre was headed on by Clarke to Morgan who put a good ball out to Sulaiman. After cutting between two Weston defenders Sulaiman saw his goalbound shot deflected over the top via Rand’s desperate slide tackle.
Having cured their recent habit of conceding early first half goals City began their collapse within 20 seconds of the restart with Ryan Harley, coming in from the visitors left, being afforded far too much space to collect Ashan Holgate’s pass just inside the Saints penalty area. With a fine rising curling shot, that clipped Eyre’s fingers, Harley opened the scoring.
The midfielder was celebrating again on 50 minutes with an almost replica strike. This time Gareth Hopkins supplied the pass and with right back James Nash nowhere to be seen Harley bettered his earlier left-footed effort with a right-footed strike across Eyre for his fifth goal of the season.
Three minutes later Eyre saved smartly from Hopkins while Holgate, in excellent form throughout, having blocked a shot from team-mate Barry McConnell, immediately controlled the ball and forced Eyre to swoop low to his right to save.
When injury precipitated Sulaiman’s removal, Anderson took the opportunity to make several positional changes, the most significant being Batt withdrawn from the midfield to replace Nash who switched flanks with Scott Cousins moving forward.
Weston ignored City’s upheavals to score a bizarre third goal on 69 minutes. Hasim Deen, so often City’s best outfield player this season, elected to let the ball run out of play only for Holgate to storm past him, keep the ball in and clip a cross beyond the far post. Cousins’ miscontrolled the dropping ball but it rebounded kindly to Nash who sought to hammer the sphere to safety only for a wicked ricochet off Hopkins outstretched leg to be sufficient for the muscular striker to claim his eighth goal of the season.
Five minutes from time Eyre scrambled across his goal to push another effort from Harley onto the foot of the woodwork while the best move of the match saw speedy Weston substitute Dean Grubb head a City clearance up to Holgate and surge down the City left to collect the return pass before turning Gary Elphick inside and out only to see his low shot deflected wide off the legs of the diving Eyre.
In between those two strikes on the home goal, a Clarke header from Cousins cross forced Seagulls keeper Ryan Northmore to complete his only save of the afternoon.

Report by David Tavener
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