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22.11.2008 @ 15:00 Clarence Park Attendance : 525
St Albans City
0 - 0
Referee : Neil Hair (Peterborough) FA Trophy / 3rd Qualifying Round-Match

None. None
Starting Line-ups
Paul Bastock
Hassan Sulaiman
James Fisher
Scott Cousins
Luke Thurlbourne
Ben Martin
Ryan Frater
Gary Cohen
James Quilter
Paul Hakim
Sam Hurrell
Andrew Young
Tommy Osbourne
Adam Gross
Adam Flanagan ©
Jamie Coyle
Danny Dafter
James White
Jamie Day
Rob Haworth
Cody McDonald
Lee Noble
Adam Everitt
Bradley Gray
Simon Martin
Jonathan Hunt
Austin Byfield
Ryan Hayes
Brendan Cass
Steve Butterworth
Seun Eferakero
Deren Ibrahim
Jonathan Hunt -> Hassan Sulaiman (60)
Bradley Gray -> Sam Hurrell (72)
Simon Martin -> Gary Cohen (81)
Steve Butterworth -> Lee Noble (75)
Brendan Cass -> Cody McDonald (81)
Yellow cards
Scott Cousins (43)
Lee Noble (43)
Red cards
None. None
Match report
By David Tavener

St Albans City celebrated the 86th anniversary of the day Wilfred Minter scored seven times in an FA Cup tie, yet was still on the losing side, by grinding out a dour, goalless FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round draw on Saturday with Dartford at a chilly Clarence Park.

How the frozen 535 souls at the Park on Saturday must have wished they could have travelled back in time to 1922 to witness the amazing 8-7 defeat at Dulwich rather than Saturday’s tame affair that contained a meagre four shots on target, of which only one was remotely likely to produce a goal.

Tuesday's replay between the Saints, flying high in Conference South, and Dartford, struggling in the Premier Division of the Isthmian League, can only be an improvement on the disappointing 90 minutes endured at the weekend.

To the credit of the Darts they came to Clarence Park looking to attack and for the opening 20 minutes or more were on top and were playing the more constructive football.

City sought to break up the visitors attacks with repeated hefty punts downfield and the lack of creativity in the Saints play seemed to play into Dartford's hands as Gary Cohen and Paul Hakim battled with little success to win the numerous aerial battles.

St Albans, who had not beaten Dartford in three previous encounters, made one change from the side that drew with Hayes a week earlier, with Hassan Sulaiman starting a league match for the first time in two months in place of Jonathan Hunt who has been carrying a hamstring injury.

Attacking the York Road goal during the opening 45 minutes Dartford began confidently and carried the game to their hosts. Inside the opening minute Tony Burman’s side won the first corner of the afternoon, although Darts keeper Andy Young was the first custodian called into action as he safely held a James Fisher cross.

Gary Cohen headed just wide of the near post following a cross from the City right by Sulaiman but the closest either side came to a goal was in the ninth minute when Lee Noble seized upon a loose ball some 35 yards from goal and with a glorious dipping half volley forced Paul Bastock to back-pedal and palm the ball over for a corner.

Sam Hurrell, on the City left, won the Saints first corner of the day but his unusually poor delivery allowed Dartford to break at speed. On the counter-attack, Cody McDonald shaped to shoot before Ryan Frater's excellent tackle whipped the ball from his toes, the ball ran kindly to Dartford midfielder Jamie Day but his shot from 25 yards went a few yards wide.

Having been on the back foot for much of the early exchanges City had a chance to exert pressure on the visitors goal from two free kicks midway inside the Dartford half, but neither was to cause the well-supported Darts any great concern.

In fact, the one time the goal did come under threat it was from what looked an accidental shot. Luke Thurlbourne, a revelation since his return to Clarence Park earlier in the season, seemed to be looking to drive a free kick towards the far post but instead saw his driven effort fly over Young and just a yard over the goal.

A minute later, the 34th, and former Bishop's Stortford keeper Young was most fortunate not to concede a goal. James Quilter laid the ball back to Cousins whose deep cross was punched away none too convincingly by Young and only as far as Sulaiman whose careful volley from ten yards on his instep was goal bound until being blocked on the goalline by the alert Adam Gross.

Dartford enjoyed another flurry of attacking activity during the closing stages of the half but a header by McDonald, smartly caught by Bastock from a Day free kick, was the only threat to the City goal.

City came out for the second half in far more positive fashion than seen during the opening half but their finishing was woeful, Cohen scuffed a shot wide following a good run by Hurrell while Hurrell himself ended a threatening run with an effort way off the mark and defender Frater joined in with a low free kick that was equally inaccurate.

Leading the visitors attack was Rob Haworth a veteran of 51 goals in 182 games for the Saints between 1996-2000. The 33-year old was a handful throughout but the nearest he came to locating the target was with a diving header from a Day free kick that went high over Bastock's goal as the City keeper kept his 50th clean sheet for the club.

Steve Castle sent on Bradley Gray for the final 18 minutes and the 19-year-old Leyton Orient striker appeared keen to make an impact, and despite his first two attempts to play the ball down the touchline going out of play he achieved his aim.

On 78 minutes Gray exchanged passes with Hunt - on for Sulaiman - before being blocked inside the penalty area, while Hakim received a pass down the right from Fisher and raced towards the goalline, beating Darts sipper Adam Flanagan with a swift turn along the way.

Hakim carefully slid the ball into the path of Quilter who was only denied a goal by Jamie Coyle's superbly timed diving tackle that diverted the ball over the top for a corner.

By now it was evident that City were bound for Princes Park on Tuesday although the Saints did produce two attempts on goal during added time. Gray, cutting in from the left, drove a speculative and soft effort straight at Young - it was the only on target shot from either side during the second half - before Thurlbourne, set up by Hunt, sliced a shot well wide from 20 yards out.

It was an apt finale to a dismal afternoon.
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