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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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31.01.2009 @ 15:00 Attendance : 273
Weston Super Mare
1 - 1
St Albans City
Referee : Brett Huxtable (Torrington) Blue Square South-Match

Goalscorers
Manny Williams (56) Adam Everitt (20)
Starting Line-ups
Ryan Northmore
Mike Green
Tomaaso Parrinello
Adie Harris ©
Craig Rand
Ben Willshire
Ben Wells
Darren Mullings
Manny Williams
Scott Partridge
Dean Grubb
Paul Bastock
Chris Seeby
James Fisher
Hassan Sulaiman
Scott Cousins
Ben Martin
Adam Everitt
James Quilter
Gary Cohen
Paul Hakim
Jonathan Hunt
Substitutes
David Thorne
Marvin Brown
Dayle Grubb
Marc McGregor
Mark Armstrong
Hector Mackie
Simon Martin
Craig Mortimer
Daniel Charge
Substitutions
Marc McGregor - Dean Grubb (46) Simon Martin -> Chris Seeby (76)
Yellow cards
Manny Williams (64)
Darren Mullings (75)
Ben Martin (45)
James Quilter (75)
Red cards
None None.
Match report
Adam Everitt’s first goal for St Albans City earned the Saints a Blue Square South point with a 1-1 draw at Weston-super-Mare on Saturday but manager Steve Castle felt it was more a case of two points lost after seeing his side hold the upper hand for long stretches in a keenly fought contest at the Woodspring Stadium.

On a heavy surface that survived a morning inspection City, particularly during the opening 45 minutes, pushed the ball around with encouraging assurance.

Weston applied heavy pressure on the visitors goal early in the second half but that spell apart St Albans held sway and with better finishing would have avoided seeing their winless run extended to a tenth match.

Castle recalled Hassan Sulaiman to the starting side that lost in midweek to Welling United and placed Everitt in the middle of the defence as a hamstring injury ruled out Ryan Frater. Chris Seeby also returned, at right back, as James Fisher moved into the centre of the midfield where he and James Quilter both enjoyed a productive afternoon.

City’s options for the bench were limited with just four of the five available spaces taken up. The fifth would have gone to Sam Hurrell who is believed to be on the verge of a move to Welling after just four months at Clarence Park.

City started brightly on the ground where they began their remarkable late season recovery last spring with a 3-0 victory. Fisher tested home keeper Ryan Northmore within the opening minute and by the fifth minute had won the Saints first corner of the day with a shot deflected wide.

Jonathan Hunt was in exceptionally good form during the first half and kept the play flowing with a series of short passes and precise long balls out to the flanks. The veteran midfielder opened up the home defence with a fine pass to Gary Cohen whose ball towards the near post bounced across the face of the goal with Paul Hakim just failing to apply the killer touch.

But St Albans only had to wait until the 20th minute for a depressing spell of 364 minutes without an away league goal to be broken when an inswinging left-footed Hunt free-kick from the City right was smartly headed home from close range by the unmarked Everitt.

In their most recent home game prior to City’s visit Weston defeated relegation threatened Fisher Athletic 3-1 but before that Andy Gurney’s side had gone four home league games without a goal. And up until the time that City opened the scoring it was not difficult to see why.

But the Seagulls began to offer more of a threat once behind and should have been level on 24 minutes when on-loan striker Manny Williams, from Woking, got the behind the City defence only to see his point-blank shot superbly pushed up onto the crossbar by Saints keeper Paul Bastock.

Craig Rand, impressive at the heart of the Seagulls defence, headed wide from Ben Wells corner while Bastock demonstrated his agility again when racing from his goal to smother the ball as experienced striker Scott Partridge looked certain to break through.

With Partridge, Bastock and Hunt all shaping up well it was a good half for the golden oldies and Hunt almost put City further ahead on 28 minutes when he beat Ben Willshire in an aerial battle for the ball, and then sidestepped Rand only to see Northmore spread himself well to block the goal bound shot.

St Albans continued to suggest a second goal was not far away although an increasing use of the long ball, when their shorter passing game was working well, conceded possession far too easily for the momentum to be maintained.

Sulaiman, who frequently promised a great deal but lacked penetration, forced Northmore into a save and the home keeper also did well to catch a Hunt free kick in a crowded goalmouth before the half petered out with Ben Martin – again in good form – picking up his sixth booking of the season for a push on Williams.

Just one alteration to the line-ups was made during the interval with Weston replacing the ineffective Dean Grubb with Marc McGregor who featured in the Forest Green Rovers side that defeated City in the semi-final of the FA Trophy ten years ago.

McGregor may be a pound or two heavier than he was a decade ago but his undoubted quality remains and he caused City several problems with creative through balls.

The Seagulls, playing in front of their sixth sub 300 home league gate of the season, pushed forward positively immediately after the restart and forced a number of corners. A goal almost came about when Mullings played the ball down the left wing to Williams whose deep cross was well met at the back post by Wells but was blocked for a corner by the well placed Scott Cousins.

Williams was lively throughout and almost found a way through following a good touch from McGregor only for Fisher’s excellent tackle to get the ball away for a corner. The pressure was maintained with Wells trying to find Williams, this time Martin’s spectacular scissor kick cleared the City lines.

Weston’s dominance was rewarded on 56 minutes when Williams scored at Winterstoke Road for the second successive match although there was a hint of good fortune about the goal as Williams appeared offside when he received McGregor’s through pass some 30 yards from goal.

Before City could recovery the lost ground Williams was away and hammered a powerful right-footed shot past the exposed Bastock.

Although back on level terms Weston were unable to keep City penned back in their own half and as the game moved on it was St Albans that began to regain the initiative and should have restored their advantage on 61 minutes.

A spell of City pressure ended with Quilter, on the right of the penalty area, chipping the ball towards the back post where Hunt headed into the goalmouth where Sulaiman, despite a couple of attempts, was unable to force the ball home from virtually on the goalline.

Hunt was again involved on 70 minutes when Cohen, not for the first time, provided a good flick to Bastock’s punt with Hunt’s right-footed shot taken low down by Northmore.

Quilter picked up a bizarre booking five minutes later when he was clearly the innocent party as Mullings came into the back of him aggressively. Not for the first time a cluster of players gathered around as referee Brett Huxtable sounded just about every note possible on a whistle as he sought to reinstate law and order.

A minute later Castle shuffled his pack when calling off Seeby. Sulaiman dropped into the right back slot, Cohen went from the attack to the right wing and Martin slipped in alongside Hakim up front.

The second half saw Weston concede an astonishing 11 free kicks to the Saints nil and as Mr Huxtable penalised the home side twice in a matter of seconds City found themselves with a perfectly placed free kick on the edge of the penalty area.

The chance, however, was squandered as Cousins launched his left-footed shot high over the home goal. One hopes that Cousins is more accurate in his day job as a coach at the David Beckham academy in Greenwich.

But Cousins effort was made to look quite decent seconds later by Hakim who, somehow, crashed his shot not only over the target but also way over the huge covered terrace behind the goal as City’s finishing was ridiculed around the thinly populated stadium.

And as the game moved into the final five minutes Hakim was guilty of an amazing miss from close in. Simon Martin and Hunt engineered an opening down the right side of the Weston defence before feeding Cohen who touched the ball into Hakim.

But with the whole target to aim at City’s leading scorer this season somehow fired wide, much to the relief of Northmore.

Weston almost grabbed a late winner when Wells excellent pass through the middle of the City defence put Mullings clear only for Bastock to again react swiftly and race out to divert the ball wide for a corner.

City struggled to clear the dead ball and Bastock had to punch clear under some pressure after Rand overhead kicked the ball back into a busy goalmouth.

Given the flow of the game Weston will probably be the happier of the two sides in collecting a single point but an occasionally fiery afternoon was not put to bed even after the crowd left the stadium for as the two sides ‘warmed down’ more words were exchanged again as players from both sides converged on the halfway line.

The childish spate finally ended when three stewards and two coaches from the home side persuaded the players to move apart.
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