Baptism of fire for Wanderers

Defending champions too strong for St Albans Wanderers

N&MH Premier Division

St Albans Wanderers 1 Probuild 3

ST ALBANS Wanderers, sporting their new kit sponsored by The Mermaid pub, suffered a baptism of fire in their first ever game in the N&MH Premier Division.

Their opponents are the reigning champions and claimed five trophies last season so it was no surprise that Probuild were the first to score. However, they were helped by Tim Attwood in the Wanderers’ goal who missed a cross, allowing Dave Clements to slot home after six minutes.

The hosts were undaunted and played flowing football which almost resulted in an instant reply when Phil Walldock was brought down in the box by the visitors’ ‘keeper. However, the referee waved away the Wanderers’ protests.

Walldock thought that he had scored just minutes later, but his effort was ruled offside and more bad luck followed as a challenge from a Probuild defender left the home forward lying on the ground with an injured ankle, requiring hospitalisation.

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Five minutes into the second half, Wanderers suffered further misfortune as Sean Teale bundled in the second goal for Probuild with eleven home team players appealing for handball. Unfortunately, none of the officials shared the same view.

Wanderers upped their game and man-of-the-match Joe Oakins slotted home to halve the deficit with 22 minutes to go.

Unfortunately, it was Probuild who scored a decisive third goal, when Steve Underwood drove home a penalty given for a tired tackle just inside the box.

Wanderers will have learnt from their first Premier Division game and will be hoping for better luck, against Crusaders in Potters Bar on Saturday.