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08.09.2014 at 19:45 Clarence Park Attendance : 403
St Albans City
2 - 2
Referee : Neil Hair (Peterborough) Vanarama Conference South-match

James Kaloczi (44)
Ben Martin (59)
Adam Bailey-Dennis (34)
Danny Waldren (52)
Opening squads
Joe Welch
Lee Chappell
Ben Martin
Tom Ward
Lee Clarke
John Kyriacou
James Kaloczi
Charlie Gorman
John Frendo
Loick Pires
Geoff Mitchell
Seb Brown
Ugo Udoji
Joe Anderson
Ali Fuseini
Jack Holland
Adam Bailey-Dennis
Pierre Joseph-Dubois
Danny Waldren
Louis Dennis
Moses Ademola
Harry Grant
Sean Shields
Kaode Bola
Steve Wales
Danny Green
David Keenleyside
CJ Williams
Damian Scannell
Adam Birchall
Jamie Slabber
Paul Agu
Sean Shields -> Loick Pires (75)
Steve Wales -> Geoff Mitchell (85)
Jamie Slabber -> Louis Dennis (58)
Adam Birchall -> Moses Ademola (75)
Yellow cards
None. Harry Grant (38)
Red cards
None. None
Other statistics
12 Shots 15
5 Shots on goal 8
1 Offsides 8
5 Corner kicks 8
9 Free kicks 9
0 Penalties 0
Match report
St Albans City called up the big guns in an effort to avoid a fourth successive Conference South defeat on Monday and whilst the manner in which they set about securing a 2-2 draw with Bromley may not have been pretty the end result justified the means at Clarence Park.

Joint City managers Graham Golds and Jimmy Gray made four changes following a 4-1 defeat at Ebbsfleet two days earlier with Danny Green, James Comley (bruised back), Sean Shields and Steve Wales all removed from the starting XI.

James Kaloczi, back from a successful loan spell with Wingate & Finchley lined up just in front of the central defensive pairing of Ben Martin and Tom Ward, and was joined in midfield by the experienced Lee Clarke.

While Kaloczi added height in the middle of the park, Loick Pires did so on the flank and Geoff Mitchell, all six foot five inches of him and solid muscle, joined John Frendo in attack.

A quick look at the teamsheet suggested that City were not going to worry much about rolling the ball along the turf and, speaking after the game, Gray made no apology for going for the long ball game. The losing run had to end.

City will certainly be forgiven for playing in such a fashion for a one-off occasion and Gray admitted that they may change back to their preferred style of play come next weekend – before mischievously adding that they may also sign three more giants.

Bromley were certainly not intimidated by City’s approach and probably should have put the game beyond the reach of the Saints by half time. Chances came and went for Mark Goldberg’s side and they, ultimately, paid the price with two dropped points.

St Albans have conceded goals early on in far too many games already this season and Pierre Joseph-Dubois almost added his name to that list on seven minutes when his header from a Harry Grant corner looped over City keeper Joe Welch, only to be headed off the goal-line at the back post by John Kyriacou.

Bromley continued to offer the main early threat with Moses Ademola’s shot from a Joe Anderson cross being diverted over the top by Ward.

As Bromley continued to push forward Ward scooped another dangerous Anderson cross over the home crossbar.

From that set piece, again taken by Grant, Danny Waldren headed the ball down and as it bounced up Jack Holland moved in, only to head over Welch’s goal.

Still the chances came with Joseph-Dubois clipping the ball over following Ugo Udoji’s low cross from the right.

City were not with attacking intentions of their own during the first half but the better openings were coming the way of the Kent side, certainly the commitment of the home team could not be faulted.

But it was somewhat out of the blue when Mitchell, after challenging for a long goal kick by Welch, reacted instinctively when the ball came back to him, and, from close on 30 yards, sent a wonderful left-footed effort screaming over keeper Seb Brown and into the face of the crossbar, Anderson put the rebound out for a throw.

Mitchell, was also instrumental in the Saints next attack when he flicked on Kaloczi’s through ball to send Frendo clear.

The ace marksman picked his spot but the advancing Brown stretched out his right leg and saved.

A goal had to come and on 34 minutes Bromley duly obliged, but it could have been avoided as City had chances to clear their lines.

After finding their way through the middle blocked, Bromley switched the play out to the right through Ali Fuseini. Louis Dennis cut inside Lee Chappell before sending a perfectly placed right footed shot across Welch.

The home goal had a remarkable escape on 40 minutes when Bromley broke at speed.

Ademola and Dennis worked the ball across the edge of the penalty area to Grant whose low shot beat Welch but was knocked off the line by Chappell.

Welch used his legs well to block Dennis’s follow up before Martin stood firm to block Joseph-Dubois goal-bound effort from the rebound.

City’s dogged determination to hang on paid dividends when they equalised on 44 minutes.

A familiar long throw by Chappell was smartly headed by the leaping Pires.

Kaloczi reacted quickly to get in front of Anderson and beat Brown with a fine header to the left of the keeper who played one game for St Albans in October 2007.

Bromley, now playing down the Clarence Park slope, began the second half looking to re-establish their lead.

On 48 minutes it looked as though Bromley had achieved their aim when Joseph-Dubois rose superbly to head a Grant cross back across goal to Ademola whose downward header was, quite brilliantly, pushed onto the foot of the post by the sprawling Welch.

City hit back to apply a bit of pressure of their own.

Frendo, nominated as City’s corner-taker for the night, swung two such set pieces into the goalmouth, while Mitchell whipped a teasing ball across the face of Brown’s goal.

But the Saints were so nearly caught out when Fuseini slid a good ball through the heart of the open defence to Joseph-Dubois, but as the midfielder shot for goal Ward slid in to divert the ball away for a corner.

It proved to be a brief respite.

Grant played the corner short to Dennis before sending the return pass looping towards the edge of the six yard box where Waldren climbed above Martin to place a fine header to the left of the somewhat surprised Welch.

At 2-1 down just seven minutes into the second half City appeared to be on the verge of another defeat but Gray was delighted at the manner in which the side rallied for a second time.

Just seven minutes later and City were level for a second time.

Chappell, from out on the right, floated a free kick into the penalty area that an unmarked Martin glanced over a cluster of players and into the far corner of the net.

Having scored a hat-trick and finished on the losing side the last time he faced Bromley at the Park, the City captain will happily settle for a point this time with his single goal.

Bromley were soon back on the attack and went close with Ademola firing into the side-netting, Grant blazing over and Waldren testing Welch low down.

A bright spell for City ended with Anderson heading off the goalline after Kaloczi’s header from a Frendo corner had beaten Brown’s dive.

Chappell made his second crucial goal-line clearance of the night when Waldren powered a drive through a crowded penalty area.

The closing stages may have lacked class but it was certainly open as the ball moved at some speed from end to end.

The closest either side came to snatching victory though was a shot by Mitchell into the side-netting.

The draw eases City back into the top half of the table but with there being five games on Tuesday evening the lofting placing may be short lived.

St Albans are back at Clarence Park on Saturday, 13th September, for the visit of Maidenhead United in Conference South. Kick off is at 3pm.
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