Gloucester City edged the Saints in a close and eventful match at Clarence Park.
After their first defeat of the season last week to Braintree, the Saints were keen to return to their triumphant form in order to regain the top spot in the National League South.
The game started badly for St Albans as a looping header from Gloucester’s defender Sam Avery gave the visitors an early lead in the 3rd minute. The home team desperately pushed for an equaliser and a Sam Merson header was denied by the post in the 27th minute. All of this pressure from the Saints made an equaliser seem inevitable and they did manage to score, and what a goal it was. Shaun Lucien hit a fantastic left-footed shot from outside the box which curled in off the far post and levelled things up in the 35th minute. St Albans carried on the dominance til half time but the score remained 1-1 at the break.
Early on in the 2nd half, both teams played evenly and neither side could break through the other’s defence. However, in the 53rd minute, Gloucester broke through on goal and were awarded a penalty for an alleged handball by Ben Herd in the box. His handball led harshly to a red card being given to the Saints’ defender. The tigers’ striker Edward Williams took the spot kick and sent goalkeeper Snedker the wrong way. The home side found themselves trailing again, 1-2.
Following on from the goal and St Albans searched frustratingly for a goal to bring the game back level and their much-needed equaliser came in the 76th minute. The Saints passed the ball around brilliantly and a ball from Eshun across the box found Tom Gardiner who scored a tap-in at the far post. All square again at 2-2.
Despite the teams looking like they would both be settling with a draw, Gloucester salvaged a corner in the 84th minute and it was dispatched by Robbie Cundy whose header flew past Snedker in to the net. Gloucester’s late goal gave them a hard-fought 3-2 victory over St Albans.
Even though they lost, St Albans still keep their high league position in 3rd place in the National League South and if they carry on playing like this, the Saints can easily push for the play offs.
Come on you Saints!
Match report by Xavier Clement-Kennedy