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01.03.2016 at 15:00 Clarence Park Attendance : 201
St Albans City
1 - 0
Hemel Hempstead Town
Referee : Joel Mannix (Watford) Herts Charity Cup / Semi-Final-match

Harry Anderson (42)
Opening squads
Martin Brennan
Lee Chappell
Sam Corcoran
Harry Anderson
Tom Bender
Scott Thomas
Darren Locke
Josh Staunton
Billy Gibson
Jonathan Edwards
Michael Thalassitis
Xavi Comes Leon
Michael Ogroro
Jack Kelly
Harry Hickford
Adam Bailey-Dennis
Reiss Greenidge
Ben Herd
Michael Richens
Adam Morgan
Ibra Sekajja
Graeme Montgomery
Oran Swales
Kevin Krans
Lee Allinson
Louie Theophanous
Charlie MacDonald
James Potton
Michael Bolpit
Dean Brennan
Joe Findlay-Bada
Jamie Butler
Louie Theophanous -> Sam Corcoran (67)
Kevin Krans -> Michael Thalassitis (67)
James Potton -> Michael Richens (70)
Yellow cards
None. Jack Kelly (20)
Adam Bailey-Dennis (49)
Red cards
None. None
Match report

Harry Anderson scores.
St Albans City followed up Saturday’s six-goal feast with a lone strike at Clarence Park on Tuesday being sufficient to secure a place in the final of the Herts Charity Cup at the expense of neighbours Hemel Hempstead Town.

Harry Anderson, on loan to the Saints from Peterborough United, struck the decisive blow just prior to the interval with his first goal for St Albans.

City’s win is their first in seven attempts against Dean Brennan’s side and their first home cup success over the Tudors for 40 years.

St Albans’ starting XI had far greater First team experience than Hemel’s and for an hour the Saints comfortably held the upper hand. But City manager Ian Allinson admitted that his side looked tired later in the game when the Tudors had their best spell.

The City side included one new face in the shape of 33-year-old goalkeeper Martin Brennan who is currently on the coaching staff of Fulham. As a player he turned out for Cambridge United, Dagenham & Redbridge and Welling United, for whom he played against St Albans 12 years ago.

This was a far more entertaining encounter than the average Herts Charity Cup tie and Hemel had to defend in depth to avoid conceding an early goal.

Darren Locke glanced on a long throw from Lee Chappell and as Hemel struggled to clear their lines Anderson threaded an astute ball towards the edge of the six yard box where Michael Thalassitis slid in and forced Tudors goalkeeper Xavi Comas-Leon to make a point blank block.

The ball rolled away from the keeper and Jonathan Edwards looked to have stabbed the rebound home only for Harry Hickford to pull off a quite brilliant lunging goalline clearance.

City maintained the pressure on the home but referee Joel Mannix aided the Tudors cause when giving a goalkick after Hemel defender Adam Bailey-Dennis had headed out of play a dangerous in-swinging cross by Chappell.

Hemel’s first threat saw Hickford plant a header onto the roof of the City net while Billy Gibson and Edwards both fired over for the home side from a free kick and shot respectively.

One-time Saint Graeme Montgomery set up Adam Morgan for a shot at the City goal but the striker dragged his effort well wide.

The pace of Edwards caused Hemel frequent problems and when sent away down the right on 32 minutes by Scott Thomas the on loan Peterborough United player cut the ball back from the goalline to Sam Corcoran.

Hickford, even though grounded, produced more heroics to keep out the City captain’s shot and looked on in relief as the ball deflected off his leg and dropped just outside the goal post.

Given the amount of possession that they enjoyed and chances on goal, City should have been ahead well before the interval and that anticipated breakthrough finally came on 42 minutes.

Following a Tom Bender throw-in deep inside the City half, Edwards played the ball back to Corcoran and from his long ball Anderson challenged Jack Kelly in a heading duel.

Both players missed the ball but Anderson was quickest to react and darted towards the penalty area with Hemel defenders trailing in his wake.

The 19-year-old looked to have overrun the ball but successfully went wide of Comas-Leon to roll the sphere into the York Road net.

In added time City had a good opportunity to double their lead when Corcoran again sent Anderson away but this time, after checking back inside, the teenager fired high over the goal.

Brennan had not been called upon to make a save during the first half but made a couple of decent punched clearances after the break and pulled off a spectacular tip over high to his left when a free kick from Montgomery clipped Tom Bender’s head and was going towards the top corner of the net.

Ten minutes into the second half and Anderson was again causing concern for Hemel as he darted past Reiss Greenidge and slipped a low pass into the penalty area where Thalassitis sent a first time effort just over the target.

A bit of careless play between Josh Staunton and Scott Thomas almost let Hemel back into the tie but Montgomery was just unable to keep his down from 25 yards and Brennan watched it sail over the top.

The City keeper had to be even more watchful moments later when a cross from the left by Jack Kelly clipped the outside of his near, right-hand, post before bouncing out of play.

Two minutes into added time City ought to have put the result beyond doubt when Kevin Krans intercepted a pass on the halfway line and sent Theophanous away with a wonderful angled ball through the middle of the Hemel defence.

But after taking one touch City’s leading goalscorer was denied when Comas-Leon dived to his left to pull off a fine save.

City had one final anxious moment to survive when Hemel skipper Ben Herd launched a free kick into the penalty area but once that was repelled referee Joel Mannix’s whistle confirmed that City were through to their 46th Herts Charity Cup final.

In the final City will face Bishop’s Stortford on a date to be arranged.
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