Boreham Wood vs St Albans City
St Albans City’s pre-season campaign continued with a 0-0 draw away to Vanarama National League neighbours Boreham Wood on Saturday afternoon.
With joint managers Jimmy Gray and Graham Golds both at a wedding, coaching staff Mark Boyce and Harry Wheeler took charge of the side, as they looked to build upon the improved performance which saw the Saints put up a fight against Premier League Watford on Wednesday evening.
The Saints started the game brightly, and had the first sight of goal within the opening ten minutes. Trialist Michael Richens, previously with Farnborough and Stevenage, delivered in a cross which found the head of Greg Ngoyi, but the returning Saints player struggled to get any power behind the header, and he saw his effort easily saved.
Wood, going into their first season in the National League, had an even better opening just a minute later, when Omar Beckles was dispossessed by Sam Cox, who played the ball through to Whichelow, but the forward fired his strike well over Horvath’s goal.
Horvath, filling in for the absent Joe Welch, was called upon in the 20th minute, and he was on hand to deny Whichelow’s half-volley, palming the strike wide.
However, just five minutes later Welch’s deputy was forced off with a serious looking ankle injury. With no other goalkeeper in City’s squad, there was a few minutes of discussion before Boreham Wood offered up the services of their replacement goalkeeper Ben McNamara.
Despite some doubts from the officials, McNamara soon took up his place up in the City net, wearing a Saints jersey, and Boreham Wood shorts, suitably summing up the situation.
With neither side managing to find a breakthrough before the half-time interval, Boyce and Wheeler served up whole sale changes during the break, with only McNamara, Darren Locke and Sam Corcoran surviving from the starting eleven which started the game.
The Saints had the ball in net through substitute Michael Malcolm not long after the restart, when he received a through ball and rounded the goalkeeper, before slotting it home. However, his effort was quickly ruled out by the referee’s assistant on the far side, who indicated that the striker was in an offside position when he latched onto the ball.
Wood substitute Sam Merson, son of Paul Merson, came on and soon looked to threaten City’s goal, but he failed to turn home after Crawford’s impressive ball over the visiting defence.
However, St Albans could have secured the win in the final ten minutes, but Darren Locke saw his header cleared off of the line at the far post, before substitute Bola put his free header wide of Russel’s goal.
Despite failing to score, the Saints will be the happier of the two sides, and are next in action in on Tuesday night, when they host Barnet’s first team at Clarence Park. Kick-off is 7:45pm.
Saints First Half XI: Horvath (McNamara); Richens; Chappell; D. Green; Comley; Locke; Beckles; Corcoran; Young; Ngoyi; Medlock.
Saints Second Half XI: McNamara; Hall; Kyriacou; Allen; Longe-King; Locke; Wales; Corcoran (Bola); Hilliard; Bishop; Malcolm.