Anane deals Cards a winning hand

City still looking for first win of the new season

St Albans City 0

Woking 1 (Ricky Anane 34)

RICKY Anane’s 34th minute goal consigned St Albans City to their second successive defeat and extended their winless streak to 15 league games.

In fact City were lucky to escape with just a one goal deficit thanks to a combination of Woking’s profligacy and some smart saves from goalkeeper Paul Bastock.

The visitors’ onslaught started virtually from kick off with top scorer Dave Gilroy rifling a shot wide inside two minutes and Francis Quarm firing over the bar shortly after that.

City should have been behind as early as the seventh minute when a Woking counter-attack saw three players lining up to score only for Quarm to shoot over the bar. Pete Smith’s corner was cleared by the Cards and Anane broke at pace. With three Woking players up against one City defender Anane squared the ball to Quarm but he hurried his shot and it ended up on the terrace with the crowd.

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City boss Steve Castle gave debuts to Jean-Michel Sigere and Sean Shields but the latter only lasted 27 minutes before a calf injury forced him off.

Bastock had to be alert to thwart Moses Ademola and then Anane after James Fisher had been robbed in midfield but the City stopper could not do anything to prevent Anane scoring two minutes later.

Mark Ricketts, the Woking skipper, was the architect swinging over a delicious cross and Anane slid the ball home at the far post.

It should have been 2-0 less than 60 seconds later but Gilroy, having sprung the offside trap, volleyed high and wide much to his teammates’ disbelief.

Gilroy then turned provider laying the ball into Chris Bush’s path but he dragged his shot across the face of goal and wide.

Anane could have doubled his personally tally when Bastock pushed Ademola’s shot into his path but the winger lifted his acrobatic effort over the bar from close range.

The half-time whistle came as a massive relief to the Saints ending Woking’s domination.

Castle bought Rob Magwood on for Adam Martin at the break but it was the visitors who continued to look the most likely to score with Ademola shooting over from Gilroy’s cross.

City’s first real effort didn’t come until the 57th minute when Cards goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley could only palm Robbie Martin’s free kick out to Drew Roberts but the striker shot at the prone ‘keeper.

Toby Little could have made it comfortable for Woking when he met Anane’s far post cross but with the goal at his mercy he headed meekly wide.

Bastock excelled himself again to thwart Quarm after the midfielder had burst through the City defence and Fisher completed the clearance.

Quarm and Jerome Maledon then linked up to carve open the City defence but Maledon saw his first shot saved by Bastock and his follow up was cleared off the line by Smith.

Ben Martin was thrust into the attack in the closing stages and made a nuisance of himself in the Woking box. The big defender knocked down Fisher’s long ball into the box for substitute Inih Effiong but he volleyed over the top and with that chance went City’s hopes of salvaging something from the game.

St Albans City: Bastock; Deeney, B Martin, Frater, Smith; Shields (Roberts 27), Fisher, A Martin (Magwood 46), R Martin; Sigere (Effiong 61), Benjamin.

Subs not used: Peters, Everitt.

Woking: Pidgeley; Ricketts, McNerney, Doyle, Bush; Anane (Inns 89), Maledon, Quarm, Little (Hurrell 73); Gilroy (Dali 83), Ademola.

Subs not used: Faulconbridge, Pegler.

Referee: Simon Knapp (Bristol)

Att: 490