Better but St Albans City draw a blank with Wealdstone

St Albans City took on Wealdstone at Clarence Park in the Vanarama National League South.

St Albans City took on Wealdstone at Clarence Park in the Vanarama National League South. - Credit: Archant

St Albans City’s run of games without a win goes on after a 0-0 draw at home to Wealdstone but a better second half again will give some confidence.

Strangely this was the second no-score draw in succession for Saints, although it did come three weeks after the last one at Gloucester City.

In between there were two disappointing results against Weymouth in the FA Trophy but in similar circumstances to the game at the Wessex Stadium, the second period at least saw Saints produced a better performance than their first 45 minutes.

That first half was poor to say the least.

A lot has been said about City’s defensive prowess this year, or rather the lack of it.

However, a worrying trend over recent weeks is the lack of goals and that is a direct consequence of the amount of shots on goal.

There was one in the first half and that was a long-range effort from Percy Kiangebeni that skidded low but comfortably through to Jonathan North.

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It wasn’t that Saints weren’t getting into good positions but too often they would double back on themselves or stick in another pass which wasn’t needed.

A case in point was at the very beginning of the second half.

Saints got forward after just 15 seconds but Solomon Sambou, with space opening up in front of him, chose to slip it in to David Moyo who was blocked out.

Manager Ian Allinson had wanted to see a response from the Weymouth encounters and there were some who delivered, but there was also a few that drew frustrating yells from the direction of the home dugout.

Sam Merson was one of those who did give plenty of effort.

He was brought in to replace the departed Ralston Gabriel, whose return to Haringey Borough was confirmed before kick-off, and he worked solidly all afternoon without getting many sniffs of goal.

The chances that did come in the first half were mostly for Wealdstone and that meant the stand-out performer for the hosts was goalkeeper Dean Snedker.

He made three fine saves as well as dealing with a number of dangerous crosses with relative comfort.

The second half was much better in terms of effort and application and City spent a lot of it on the front foot.

And ironically for a side that prides themselves on their passing, it was the long ball that often looked like it would unlock the Stones defence.

Moyo shot over as did Sambou while Merson sent an effort wide from a tight angle after a bouncing ball finally ran for him in the box.

The best chance though was created and taken by Kiangebeni who wriggled into the box with a sight of goal but poked his effort from 12 yards inches over the bar.

Merson’s lack of game-time hastened his exit on 68 minutes, replaced by Khale Da Costa, and it heralded the end of the home side’s best spell.

There was one glorious chance late on after Da Costa cut inside but desperate defence and blocks from the Stones prevented City for snatching the win.

St Albans City: Snedker, Herd, Clark, Noble, Knight, Diedhiou, Wyatt, Sambou, Merson (Da Costa 68), Moyo, Kiangebeni (Banton 80).

Sub (not used): Bonfield, Kamdjo, Gardiner-Smith.

Booked: Knight 26

Wealdstone: North, Tyler, Payne, Stevens, Okimo, Poku, Sheppard (Shomoton 70), Smith, Pratt (Hudson-Odoi 84), Green (Mensah 80), Monakana.

Subs (not used): Wilson, Regis.

Booked: Stevens 25

HT: St Albans City 0 Wealdstone 0

Attendance: 730

Referee: Dean Skipper (Hornchurch)