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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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10.08.2015 at 19:45 Clarence Park Attendance : 481
St Albans City
1 - 3
Oxford City
Referee : Ian Rathbone (Northampton) Varnarama National League South-match

Louie Theophanous (23)
Kynan Isaac (21)
Ander Del Alamo (71)
Bradley Bubb (90)
Opening squads
Joe Welch
Lee Chappell
Ben Martin
Sam Corcoran
John Kyriacou
Scott Thomas
Darren Locke
Lewis Hilliard
James Comley
Luke Allen
Louie Theophanous
Laurie Walker
Luke Coulson
Jose Lapoujade
Ander Del Alamo
Lee Henderson
Adrian Santiago
Kynan Isaac
Darren Pond
Bradley Bubb
Julen Lafuente
Carlos Picarre
Tom Coulton
David Longe-King
Jack Green
Billy Medlock
Simon Thomas
Jamal Lawrence
Dellan Benjamin
Reece Fleet
John Arzamendi
Craig Hill
Simon Thomas -> Lewis Hilliard (63)
Jack Green -> Sam Corcoran (70)
Billy Medlock -> Luke Allen (75)
Reece Fleet -> Julen Lafuente (57)
Jamal Lawrence -> Carlos Picarre (69)
Yellow cards
John Kyriacou (46)
Adrian Santiago (45)
Red cards
None. None
Match report

Ben Martin attacks the Oxford City goal.
St Albans City were given an early warning on Monday evening of just how tough life in National League South is likely to be this season when Oxford City outclassed the Saints in chalking up a far from flattering 3-1 win at a warm Clarence Park.

But for as good as Oxford City undoubtedly were, the home City contributed to their own downfall with a far from satisfactory performance.

Speaking after the game, Saints manager Jimmy Gray refused to criticise his players and preferred to focus on just how well the away City played.

“Oxford City are the best side that have been to Clarence Park since I have been involved,” was Gray’s generous assessment, as Justin Merritt’s side extended their good record against St Albans to just five defeats in the 26 most recent meetings.

City made one change from the draw at Gosport with Lewis Hilliard coming in for Simon Thomas.

After making a positive impression when coming on as a substitute at the weekend, Hilliard struggled to make much headway against Oxford and flitted in and out of the play.

But he was far from alone in being on the receiving end of that accusation.

The gulf between the two sides was most apparent from the opening 20 minutes, during which time Oxford could have taken a firm grip on the game.

They looked a well-drilled and composed unit. Their passing was swift and accurate, their running instinctive, and whenever St Albans did get possession it was quickly lost by a panic hoof forward.

Oxford’s calmness in passing at all times, compared to St Albans uneasy rushed style, was an education that the home side need to learn from fast.

Oxford’s early dominance should have been rewarded with a goal on nine minutes.

City keeper Joe Welch beat out Carlos Picarre’s drive, Bradley Bubb was just unable to reach the rebound but the eye-catching Kynan Isaac moved in only for Bubb to block his team-mates shot. Darren Locke failed to clear the ricochet and Julen Lafuente fed Isaac again and this time his low ball into the goalmouth was hacked clear by John Kyriacou as two Oxford players waited to pounce.

St Albans found some respite with a cross by Luke Allen being headed over by Louie Theophanous.

Oxford right-back Luke Coulson was continually finding large areas of open space but the one time he seemed to have got clear inside the penalty area, Hilliard swooped to clear the danger.

A delightful stabbed pass into the penalty area by Lafuenta gave Isaac a sight of goal from a tight angle but again Welch got down well to save.

The visitors launched a deadly counter-attack on 21 minutes after keeper Laurie Walker caught a Hilliard corner.

Saints midfielder Scott Thomas, making his home debut, headed Walker’s long and high kick across the edge of his own penalty area where Bubb took the entire City defence out of the equation with a stunning pass to Isaac with the underside of his foot.

With great precision Isaac slid the ball to the right of the diving Welch and St Albans were behind.

Completely against the run of play, St Albans drew level within two minutes when Hilliard came in from the left and found Theophanous unmarked on the edge of the penalty area.

The former Staines striker sent Walker the wrong way to open his league account with his new club.

Goal chances became scarce following the two quick goals but City had an opportunity to add a second when a Lee Chappell free kick was cleared only as far as Hilliard, who lined up a volley that sailed harmlessly wide.

Kyriacou picked up a second booking in successive games on 46 minutes following a foul on Darren Pond.

Oxford worked the ensuing free kick superbly through a crowded penalty area with Picarre striking the crossbar and, while grounded, flicking the rebound rolling within an inch of the target and out for a goal kick.

Although the main threat continued to come from the Hooped visitors, Theophanous reminded everyone of his capabilities with a firm drive that Walker required two goes at gathering.

Moments later an excellent through ball by Sam Corcoran sent Hilliard clear but, when the unmarked Theophanous called for a square pass, Adrian Santiago whipped the ball from Hilliard’s toe inside the penalty area.

Theophanous displayed another, unwanted, side of his character when shoving his foot into the back of Lee Henderson’s head following a collision near to the halfway line; fortunately for the City striker referee Ian Rathbone did not see the incident.

While Theophanous and Henderson sorted out their differences play continued and Bubb only just failed to convert from Santiago’s cross.

On 71 minutes the game turned decisively in favour of the Hoops when a long punt by Locke was cut out just inside the Oxford half.

The ball was moved quickly through the Saints half by Reece Fleet and Jamal Lawrence for Coulson to send a low cross into the centre of the penalty area.

Welch made a remarkable save to deny Pond but was helpless as Del Alamo sent a brilliant scissor kick past four defenders to restore Oxford’s lead.

With three points in sight Oxford toyed with St Albans for the final 20 minutes and should have chalked up a far more significant margin of victory.

Isaac fired wide, Welch saved in style from Bubb and Pond who went close on two other occasions, while Coulson drilled a good effort just over.

City looked to have weathered the storm when Kyriacou crossed from the right and Theophanous touched it past the advancing Walker. As a goal beckoned Santiago dashed back to clear from the goal line.

An opportunity to pull level was wasted when Billy Medlock sent a free kick from the edge of the penalty area into the Hatfield Road terrace.

The electric pace of Isaac took him clear but more good work by Welch saw the City keeper spread himself at just the right time to push the ball out for a corner before Isaac could shot.

Five minutes of added time gave City renewed hope of salvaging the game but in the fifth of those extra minutes Oxford secured victory.

A pass by Chappell was easily intercepted and with a well-flighted chip Del Alamo sent Bubb racing away to cushion a shot to the left of Welch to complete Oxford’s highly impressive victory in front of a small, but vocal, band of travelling supporters.
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