Banton and Walker light the way as St Albans City march into the next round of the FA Cup
PUBLISHED: 09:35 19 September 2017
Confidence would have been a bit shaky among St Albans City fans as they took another 2-0 lead over Cambridge City - but unlike the first game between the two on Saturday, there was to be no comeback.
In fact the biggest concern for the visitors came 63 minutes and four seconds into the match when Westwood Road was plunged into darkness following a floodlight failure.
Fortunately, and despite early moments of panic, the cause turned out to be a brief power cut in the area and once the halogen bulbs had taken enough time to cool down and reboot, the game was able to restart 20 minutes later.
Zane Banton and Charlie Walker got the goals in the first-half to give Saints a 2-0 win in the FA Cup second qualifying round clash.
Both goals can be summed up by fantastic deliveries and powerful headers.
First Kieran Monlouis whipped a curling cross in to Banton who was charging in at the back post and then Shaun Lucien’s accurate free-kick found Charlie Walker at the near post and he headed the second.
Prior to that it had been a highly-entertaining encounter, with chances at both ends in the opening 30 minutes.
Cambridge actually had the better of the opening exchanges with Tom Knowles to the fore.
He tested Dean Snedker after just 37 seconds and when the Saints keeper was beaten 10 minutes later, Solomon Sambou headed off the line.
Saints first opportunity fell to Walker who had a clear sight of goal inside the box but was denied by Niall Conroy.
The rebound fell to Monlouis but his shot was blocked.
St Albans had two more good chances shortly after, and again they fell to Walker.
Again, however, Conroy and his defence kept him out.
Snedker had made one fine stop before Saints opener and he had to make another six minutes after the break as Cambridge started looking for a goal to halve the deficit.
But one thing manager Ian Allinson has been wanting from his players over the last few weeks has been better game management and he would have been delighted with the way St Albans handled Cambridge in the second half.
It was impressive before the stoppage bur even moreso during and after, when the hosts pressed for a lifeline.
But that pressing gave space in behind them and it was Saints who came closest to adding to the scoreline when substitute Rhys Murrell-Williamson hit the crossbar in stoppage time.
Saints will now face either Bridport or Cadbury Heath in the next round at home.
Their replay takes place tomorrow (Wednesday).
St Albans: Snedker, Herd, Bender, Kiangebeni, Gardiner, Joseph, Lucien (Murrell-Williamson 84), Sambou, Walker (Merson 86), Monlouis, Banton
Subs (not used): Eshun, Eadie, Adeloye, Noble, Allinson
Goals: Banton 32, Walker 43
Cambridge City: Conroy, Robinson, Spence (Coulson 90), Paterson, Gent, Miller, Relizani, Towner, Wilson, Sharman (Snaith 74), Knowles
Subs (not used): Lyratzopoulos, Capel, Harradine
HT: Cambridge City 0 St Albans City 2
Referee: Wayne Cartmel (Luton)