Banton sends St Albans City back into play-off places with winner at Hampton & Richmond Borough
- Credit: Archant
St Albans City returned to winning ways in National South with a 1-0 win against Hampton & Richmond Borough.
Zane Banton got the only goal of the game in the second half as City, with the aid of a three-point deduction for Concord Rangers, moved back into the play-off places.
It took almost half an hour for the first opening of the game and it fell the way of Saints.
Khale Da Costa burst down the right and whipped a ball towards the back post where David Moyo met it, but his downwards header drifted wide of the post.
Da Costa was involved again eight minutes later and almost opened the scoring when he cut into the box, drifted past Simon Downer, and sent a powerful strike from the angle that Tom Lovelock had to tip over the bar.
The hosts made a change during the interval bringing on Craig Dundas for Zak Joseph, but it was a change that had little effect with the Saints continuing to have better of the two sides after the break.
And they eventually took the lead just past the hour mark following a brilliantly worked move that saw Da Costa tee up Banton with a back heel and the former Luton Town man calmly took a touch before stroking the ball home.
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The Beavers were presented with an opportunity for an equaliser just three minutes later when Solomon Sambou was harshly adjudged to have brought down a Hampton man 25 yards out.
Matt Whichelow’s free-kick was well struck and looped over the City wall, but Dean Snedker shifted to his left and made the save low to his left.
Ian Allinson’s side continued to push for a second and Sambou almost grabbed it when he met Moyo’s cross from the left at the back post.
However, he failed to time his header correctly and it failed to trouble Lovelock.
Da Costa was next to have a sight of goal, twisting and turning on the edge of the Hampton box before sending a curling left footed effort over the bar.
With the game entering the final stage the Beavers went in search of an equaliser but the closest they came was through Chris Dickson’s snap shot on the turn, which Snedker gathered easily low to his right.