Walker’s injury-time wonder-goal earns Saints a point
PUBLISHED: 20:21 09 April 2017 | UPDATED: 20:21 09 April 2017
Charlie Walker’s last-gasp 25-yard volley saw St Albans City claim a 1-1 National League South draw with second-bottom Margate at Clarence Park on Saturday.
The home side had been caught cold by a familiar face inside the opening two minutes as former City man Michael Thalassitis brushed off Joe Robinson’s weak challenge before stroking beyond keeper James Russell.
Having carved out several clear-cut openings, but failed to take any, in a frustrating afternoon for the Saints, the forward’s spectacular 94th-minute strike secured a point and also extended their unbeaten league run to three games.
With things getting off to a poor start as Thalassitis eagerly surged onto Ben Swift’s long ball to net, City regrouped well and were unlucky not to level in the 21st minute.
Luton Town loanee Zane Banton found Walker 12 yards out and he struck his effort well but Chris Sessegnon blocked it on the goal-line.
Banton was in the thick of things again just past the half-hour as he spun expertly on the edge of the box before bringing a good stop from custodian Jonathan Miles.
Margate’s only other foray of the half saw Thalassitis again on target but this time Russell was equal to his headed attempt.
Substitute Shaun Lucien was on from the start of the second half and his piercing runs down the left were causing the away side plenty of headaches.
One delightful cross should have been converted by Banton but his shot was deflected wide while another could only be hammered over by fellow replacement Sam Merson.
At the other end, Daniel Akindayini could have sealed the points for Margate but his lob was tipped into the air by Russell before it was hacked clear.
Egged on by aggravated father-son managerial duo Ian and Lee Allinson, City refused to give up but when a wall of away bodies blocked another Banton attempt expertly in injury time it seemed like the game was gone.
That was until Walker pulled out his goal of the season contender to uncork the home faithful and leave Margate, 11 points from safety with just four games remaining, on the verge of a return to the Isthmian League.