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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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22.03.2008 at 15:00 Ship Lane Attendance : 272
Thurrock
1 - 1
St Albans City
Referee : Gavin Muge Blue Square South-match

Goalscorers
Fola Orilonishe (90) Paul Hakim (7)
Opening squads
David Blackmore
Lee Flynn �
Kenny Clark
Tim Cole
Matt Paine
Bai Mas Lettejallow
Fola Orilonishe
Greg Lincoln
Che Stadhart
Craig Hughes
Matt Bodkin
Paul Bastock
Hassan Sulaiman
James Fisher
Scott Cousins
Luke Thurlbourne
Ben Martin
Ryan Frater
Paul Bruce
Paul Hakim
Lee Clarke
Wasiu Akanni Sunday
Substitutes
Phil Anderson
David Bryant
Alex Read
Rob Swaine
Daniel Tenkorang
Hasim Deen
Marcel McKie
James Quilter
Simon Martin
Jonathan Hunt
Substitutions
Rob Swaine -> Tim Cole (48)
Daniel Tenkorang -> Craig Hughes (61)
Alex Read -> Kenny Clark (87)
Hasim Deen -> James Fisher (31)
James Quilter -> Luke Thurlbourne (82)
Simon Martin -> Wasiu Akanni Sunday (88)
Yellow cards
Fola Orilonishe (75) Ryan Frater (34)
Scott Cousins (74)
Red cards
None None.
Match report
AN EQUALISER two minutes into added time by Thurrock midfielder Fola Orilonishe denied St Albans City a fourth successive win with the 1-1 draw at Ship Lane leaving the Saints needing victory on Monday if they are to climb out of the bottom three in Blue Square South during the extended holiday weekend.
Playing into a fierce and bone-chilling wind City were ahead inside seven minutes through Paul Hakim’s fourth goal in five games and really should have made better use of their first half dominance before surrendering two potentially crucial points to Hakan Hayrettin’s side.
City, whose positive attitude when playing into the wind was not matched by a disappointing second half performance, were left to rue some very ordinary finishing and poor choices with their final pass as Thurrock’s excellent home run of seven wins in eight games faltered.
Saints boss Steve Castle named an unchanged starting XI following the win at Lewes the previous week and the confidence that has grown within the team courtesy of three straight wins evident from the off as City pushed to win the first corner of the match inside two minutes. That corner came to nothing and it was the visitors goal that came under the most serious early threat as Greg Lincoln threaded a short pass through to Che Stadhart and only smart work by Paul Bastock, who spread himself well, denied the experienced striker a goal.
But it was St Albans who opened the scoring on seven minutes with a well-worked goal. James Fisher played the ball up the middle of the pitch to Akanni-Sunday Wasiu who moved forward before laying it out to the right to Hassan Sulaiman. From Sulaiman’s deep cross Paul Bruce, coming in beyond the back post, headed the ball back into the middle where it was blocked but sat up nicely for Hakim to fire home from close in.
On what felt like the coldest day so far this season for watching football, City were soon on the prowl for more and only a fine headed clearance by former Saint and now Thurrock captain Lee Flynn stopped Sulaiman from having a clear run at goal. It was just one of several good contributions Flynn made to the game.
At the opposite end of the pitch Lee Clarke made a timely interception to clear a dangerous low cross from Orilonishe while Kenny Clark just failed to latch onto a Lincoln cross that curled towards the City goal on the back of the wind.
Around the half hour the Saints squandered two crystal clear opportunities to move into a commanding position. City skipper Bruce sent Hakim away with the in-form marksman weaving his way past three challenges before clipping a good ball to the far post where Luke Thurlbourne went full length but could not direct his header into the gaping goal.
Moments later Sunday sent Hakim through the middle but with keeper David Blackmore exposed the City striker scooped the ball wastefully wide of the keeper’s left hand post. Those two misses typified City’s finishing throughout with the goal scored being the Saints only on target effort of the afternoon.
City lost Fisher on 31 minutes, the defender having suffered an early leg injury but it was a nasty eye injury that forced his withdrawal after he received a painful ricochet on the left side of his face. With Hasim Deen sent into action City were at least able to call upon a player whose ability would not weaken the side.
Bastock was called into action late in the half to punch away a Lincoln corner and when the ball was scrambled back out to the same player the City custodian had to dive close to his right hand upright to save. But City did end the half on the attack with a glorious long pass by Thurlbourne finding Hakim on the left but a moments hesitation allowed Matt Paine to step in to whip the ball from Hakim’s toes.
Coming out for the second half with the wind behind them City were expected to push on to clinch the win required to lift them out of the relegation places for the first time since mid September but they seemed reluctant to force the issue and Thurrock began to look the more threatening outfit, although an equaliser appeared unlikely.
The longer the game wore the darker the skies above Ship Lane grew. But despite the wind and biting cold, the ground somehow steered clear of the rain and snow seen in nearby neighbourhoods. On the pitch though the football began to mirror the weather, it was scrappy untidy and not good viewing, although Thurrock must be commended for sticking gamefully to their task.
The City defence, which hardly dare make an error such was the force with which Bastock was bellowing instructions, was holding firm with an excellent block by the again immaculate Ben Martin to a shot from Orilonishe typifying the Saints determination to keep a third clean sheet in four games.
St Albans made their task harder than it should have been by failing to stick with the passing game that has served them so well recently; possession was conceded far too readily. Even so, on the counter attack City posed problems for their hosts with one good move involving Bruce, Sunday and Clarke only just failing to produce a goal when Thurlbourne’s through ball ran away from Hakim and out of play.
Throughout the second half referee Gavin Muge, who had a decent game, warned City as to their time wasting tactics and a couple of late substitutions seemed to be more efforts to eat up time. Whether there were any deliberate attempts to nibble into the 90 minutes is open to debate but that Thurrock scored their equaliser in added time only added to the disappointment City felt in seeing two potentially vital points slip away.
With the game moving into a second minute of added time Thurrock substitute Daniel Tenkorang pumped a high ball towards the right hand corner of the City penalty area. Deen was not the first player to look uncomfortable as the wind played havoc with the falling ball but his indecision as it landed was seized upon by Orilonishe who pounced and cut his way inside before firing to Bastock’s left with the ball bouncing into the goal off the upright.
It was a bitter blow for the Saints but probably a draw was a just outcome.

Report by David Tavener
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