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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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10.04.2009 at 15:00 Melbourne Park Attendance : 1459
Chelmsford City
1 - 1
St Albans City
Referee : Matt Foley (Reading Blue Square South-match

Andy Duncan (20) Ben Martin (64)
Opening squads
Ashley Harrison
Kevin James
Sam Sloma
Andy Duncan
Steve Ward
Dave Rainford
Ollie Berquez
Jeff Minton
Jason Hallett
Bertie Brayley
Ricky Holmes
Paul Bastock
Hassan Sulaiman
James Fisher
Ben Martin
Adam Everitt
Ryan Frater
James Quilter
Gary Cohen
Hector Mackie
Simon Martin
Jonathan Hunt
Ian Cousins
Jamie Hand
Jon Keeling
Steve Robinson (80)
Danny Gay
Scott Cousins
Inih Effiong
Paul Hakim
Craig Mortimer
Jon Keeling -> Jason Hallett (46)
Ian Cousins -> Jon Keeling (73)
Steve Robinson -> Andy Duncan (80)
Paul Hakim -> Simon Martin (46)
Yellow cards
None Ryan Frater (11)
James Fisher (53)
Ben Martin (77)
Red cards
None Jonathan Hunt (85)
Match report
A second diving headed goal within a week by club captain Ben Martin rescued a Blue Square South point for St Albans City at a wet and windy Melbourne Park on Good Friday as Chelmsford City’s push towards the play-offs stalled.

Chelmsford, in all likelihood, will take their place in the promotion play-offs but will need to improve drastically if the club is to step up into the Conference National for the first time in their history.

Jeff King’s side were a delight to watch during their visit to Clarence Park early in the season but the flowing football and supreme confidence witnessed on that occasion was but a pipe dream on Friday as the Saints picked up a welcome point from a dour encounter.

Neither side was helped by the conditions as an increasingly strong wind – blowing straight down the pitch – was coupled with rain and a playing surface showing signs of a long season to make life difficult for both teams.

When the players did master the conditions they then came up against two defences that were in no mood to hand out Easter gifts. All of which conspired to conjure up a game of few chances and little excitement.

But St Albans first visit to Melbourne Park was costly for the Saints as Jonathan Hunt was dismissed late in the day for two yellow card offences and now joins Ben Martin as suspended for the final day of the season trip to AFC Wimbledon.

James Quilter returned to the City midfield following Solomon Shields return to Leyton Orient while manager Steve Castle opted for an attack of Simon Martin and Gary Cohen, with leading scorer Paul Hakim on the bench. Chelmsford were unchanged from a midweek victory over Hampton & Richmond Borough.

With the wind to their backs at the very open Chelmsford Sports and Athletic Centre – the pitch being surrounded by a running track – the Clerets promised to continue from where they left off against St Albans in August.

Paul Bastock was called upon after just six minutes to make his first save following a shot from Ollie Berquez, but Bastock having to exert himself to make a save was a collectors item with the Essex side managing just one other effort on target.

Chelmsford dominated the early stages with regards to possession; City aided their cause by making too many hasty long-kick clearances that simply handed the ball back to the home side.

Castle’s side defended stoutly and from early on it seemed that a low scoring contest was on the cards. In fact it was the visitors that made one of the best attacking moves of the opening half when Hector Mackie, Gary Cohen and Hunt worked the ball back to Mackie whose low shot was safely taken by home keeper Ashley Harrison.

But on 20 minutes Chelmsford took the lead with a perfectly executed goal as skipper Andy Duncan neatly glanced to the right of the diving Bastock Sam Sloma’s in-swinging left-footed free kick from the Clarets right.

The Saints responded positively with Cohen seizing the ball from the dithering central defensive duo of Duncan and Steve Ward to hammer a powerful drive just wide of Harrison’s right hand upright.

And excellent close skills by Cohen, following fine approach play by Mackie, led to Hunt teeing the ball up for a crisp half volley from the edge of the penalty area that again went just to the right of the home goal.

The half ended less pleasingly as Mackie, following a cushioned pass by James Fisher, lashed the ball off into some distant corner of the vast arena. As the players walked off a small amount of pushing was seen close to the touchline with a number of choice words being exchanged between the two sets of players.

After a quiet opening 45 minutes Simon Martin was replaced by Hakim while Chelmsford sent on Jon Keeling for Jason Hallett. Keeling’s appearance proved to be brief though as he too was withdrawn 28 minutes later as Ian Cousins entered the fray.

Now it was St Albans opportunity to move forward with the wind driving into the face of the Chelmsford defenders. A promising move involving Mackie and Frater saw Hunt send Cohen scurrying down the right wing but his low cross was too strong for Hakim to control and the ball ran out for a goal-kick.

A clever back heel by Berquez created space for Brayley but his rushed shot bounced harmlessly wide. Brayley was more impressive when, for once, he got the better of Ben Martin and fizzed the ball across the face of Bastock’s goal, winning a corner in the process. From Kevin James corner Duncan headed the ball downwards before it went wide of the target.

A minute later, the 64th, the Saints drew level from a similar situation as a Hunt corner on the City left was met by Ben Martin whose diving header to Harrison’s left gave the Saints captain his seventh goal of the season.

The home side looked to have been handed a gift on 72 minutes when a Ricky Holmes cross from the right bounced up and struck Hassan Sulaiman on the right hand, much to the relief of the City right-back referee Matt Foley waved play on.

Five minutes later Chelmsford had a scare when Harrison misjudged a long clearance by Bastock and was beaten in the race to the ball by Hakim but in stretching to keep the ball in the City striker could only present it back to the grateful keeper.

During the final ten minutes the play became more open than in any other period of the game but Chelmsford’s hope of snatching a late victory were thwarted by the combined strength of the excellent Ben Martin and Frater.

And when space was found to fire at the Saints goal, following half cleared corners, both Jeff Minton and Holmes were way off target.

Even so, St Albans concerns for the dying moments were raised when Hunt received the first red card of his long career when bringing down Jeff Minton. Having earlier been harshly cautioned Hunt was duly despatched by referee Foley who also saw fit to caution the Saints trio of Frater, Fisher – despite the City midfielder clearly winning the ball – and Ben Martin whose caution was his fifth in as many games.
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