Hungerford Town 1 Saints 2

St Albans City secured their second win of the season on Saturday, coming from a goal behind to pick up all three points against Hungerford Town at Bulpit Lane.

It was the hosts who started the game the better of the two sides and they took the lead inside nine minutes. A brilliant move involving five one touch passes was finished off by Conor Lynch, who calmly slid the ball under Dean Snedker.

That lead was almost doubled in the twenty-first minute. Tom Bender was adjudged to have pushed a Hungerford attacker just outside the area and Matt Jones stepped to take the resulting free-kick, however the wide-man saw his attempt acrobatically tipped over the bar by Snedker.

Following their slow start to the game the Saints started to gain some momentum and their first real sight of goal came just before the break through Albert Adu, who lined up an effort from twenty-yards that goalkeeper Adam Siviter did well to tip wide of the mark.

City found themselves a goal behind at the interval and things didn’t get much better immediately after the break, as Solomon Nwabuokei was forced off with a knock just three minutes in.

Saints fans needn’t be too concerned however, as his replacement Taylor Miles proved to be the catalyst for the visitor’s comeback.

Two minutes after coming on Miles spread a brilliant cross field pass to Sprague, who nodded it into the path of Iaciofano on the edge of the box. The forward battled with defender James Rusby and shrugged him off before poking the ball past Siviter.

Things got even better two minutes later and it was Miles who was involved once again as he lofted a free-kick from just inside the Hungerford half towards James Kaloczi. The City defender leapt highest and sent an inch perfect header back across goal and into the far corner of the net.

Dave Diedhiou, who was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball in the box against Wealdstone on Tuesday evening, had another decision go against him at Bulpit Lane, as he was booked for what looked to be a perfectly innocuous challenge. It was a decision that would have further consequences later on.

Hungerford looked to rally and were presented with a golden opportunity just past the hour mark when Zidan Akers burst down the left and squared the ball to experienced forward James Constable. With just Snedker to beat and the goal gaping, the thirty-four-year-old somehow sent his effort well over the target and into the stand behind.

City had a chance to kill the game themselves, but Iaciofano could only manage to fire an effort wide of the mark from the angle after good link up play with Adu.

With just ten minutes left on the clock City’s task of holding onto the lead was made a whole lot harder. Diedhiou caught Halliday late and referee Jack Packman wasted no time in showing the defender his second yellow of the proceedings.

Manager Ian Allinson reacted immediately and brought on Sam Merson and Bobson Bawling for Joe Iaciofano and Darren Foxley.

Those substitutions and a resolute City defence combined to limit the hosts, who struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities. Despite their man disadvantage, Ian Allinson’s side saw out the final stages in relative comfort.

The much-needed result lifts the Saints up to sixteenth in the Vanarmama National League South.

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