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03.11.2007 at 15:00 Clarence Park Attendance : 325
St Albans City
1 - 1
Bognor Regis Town
Referee : Sean Feerick Blue Square South-match

Goalscorers
Jon Stevenson (88)
Luke Nightingale (38)
Opening squads
Nick Eyre
Jomo Faal-Thomas
Scott Cousins
Hasim Deen
Paul Semakula
Gary Elphick
Craig Vargas
Jon Stevenson
Danny Morgan
Craig O'Connor
Damien Batt
Craig Stoner
Michael Birmingham
Seb Wallis-Taylor
Charlie Balfe
Adam Pearson
Chris Breach
Alex Haddow
Scott Chamberlain
Dan Beck
Luke Nightingale �
Mark Knee
Substitutes
Marcel McKie
Paul Armstrong
James Archer
Reiss Noel
Alex Olcott
Scott Harris
Scott Marshall
Chris Greatwich
Substitutions
Paul Armstrong -> Danny Morgan (57)
Marcel McKie -> Paul Semakula (83)
None
Yellow cards
None. Mark Knee (72)
Scott Chamberlain (81)
Red cards
None. None
Match report
A scrambled late equaliser by Jon Stevenson, one of three debutants, provided a get out of jail card for St Albans City in Saturday’s bottom of the table clash with Bognor Regis Town at Clarence Park but many more dire displays like the one served up against the rejuvenated Rocks will soon see the Saints cast aside as condemned men.
Since the recent departure of the long serving Jack Pearce, Bognor have shown signs of recovering from their poor start to the season, and with a fine first half performance, in which they totally outclassed Dave Anderson’s new look Saints, the Rocks should have secured a first win at the Park in 16 years after overwhelming their hosts with a shot count of 14-3.
With St Albans making their trademark slow start, they have scored the opening goal in just one of 16 matches played this season, Bognor called the tune from the early stages and inside the opening 14 minutes kept the excellent Nick Eyre alert with six shots of varying accuracy.
On nine minutes Eyre used his legs well to thwart Luke Nightingale and shortly after pulled off a spectacular save to his right following Scott Chamberlain’s effort from 20 yards. Already it was evident that Bognor’s passing game was going to cause problems for a disjointed City side although a spell of mild Saints pressure saw Craig O’Connor blocked and Damian Batt, after receiving a precise crossfield ball from Danny Morgan, fire just over Craig Stoner’s goal.
City survived an anxious moment when Seb Wallis-Taylor charged most optimistically through the heart of the Saints defence following a long punt by Stoner, his persistence forced Hasim Deen to head the ball past the advancing Eyre but fortunately for City another debutant, Craig Vargas – the most impressive of the new boys – recovered to clear the danger.
The long overdue opening goal came on 38 minutes when Wallis-Taylor whipped a low cross in from the Rocks left and towards the near post where the ever reliable Nightingale controlled the ball and turned to fire past Eyre from close in for his third goal in as many games.
With a glancing header from a Batt cross Stevenson almost wiped out Bognor’s lead but it was only a marvellous tip over by Eyre from a cracking Alex Haddow strike, and a push onto the roof of the net by the City keeper as Dan Beck looked certain to score, that kept the Saints in the hunt at the interval.
Playing down the slope towards the Hatfield Road goal after the break St Albans came more into the game but it was far from pretty, City’s true grit eventually nullifying Bognor’s superior class although clear chances were scarce.
The lively O’Connor, playing with heavy strapping around his damaged ribs, won the first corner of the half on 70 minutes but was fortunate not to be cautioned when failing to win a penalty after going down in the box under pressure from Chris Breach.
Eyre, after smartly taking Chamberlain’s firm drive, launched a swift counterattack with a long kick that saw O’Connor give chance and send a ricochet wide as Stoner advanced to crash the ball into the City striker. As the game wore on the Saints finally began to enjoy spells of possession, Bognor making the task easier by hauling every player behind the ball when their earlier success had come through taking the game to St Albans.
The visitors were given a warning when substitute Marcel McKie headed wide from a Scott Cousins corner but on 88 minutes their resistance was broken when a Batt cross from the City left was headed down by Gary Elphick for Stevenson to force home the equaliser from close in.
Moments later O’Connor flashed a powerful shot from 28 yards a yard over Stoner’s bar but after weathering that storm it was Bognor who threatened most during almost six minutes of added time and with cleaner strikes both Nightingale and Beck could have clinched a deserved victory for the visitors.

Report by David Tavener