National League South: Bath City earn simple win in front of big St Albans City crowd on non-league day

St Albans City battled it out with Bath City at Clarence Park in the National League South on non-le

St Albans City battled it out with Bath City at Clarence Park in the National League South on non-league day 2018. - Credit: Archant

St Albans City welcomed a big crowd through the Clarence Park gates for non-league day 2018 but they could send them home happy as Bath City eased to a 2-0 victory.

In total 1,432 came out on an unseasonably warm October day which also saw the club raise money for their chosen charity this year, Prostate Cancer UK.

However, the team were also in charitable mood and never looked like adding to their run of four straight National League South wins.

Ian Allinson made three changes from the debacle at Taunton Town in the FA Cup on Wednesday night, dropping Ben Herd, David Noble and David Moyo.

In their place came Khale Da Costa, Solomon Sambou and Sam Merson.

The changes were clearly part of the manger’s desire to bring a swift return to form with the hope being the returning trio would bring a hunger sadly lacking at the Viridor Stadium.

And the signs looked promising in the opening five minutes with St Albans showing a bit of fight.

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However, it took just nine minutes for their aversion to crosses to rear its ugly head.

It was a low, drilled effort from the left-hand side from Anthony Straker that caused it with Ryan Brunt arriving unmarked at the far post to tap it in.

They had already had a warning before that with Lewis Knight struggled to clear one on four minutes and another ball in, this time from the right, just evaded Tom Smith but the likelihood is the flag would have gone up had it touched it.

A third cross found Brunt unmarked at the far post again but his nod back across goal was just too far ahead of Smith again.

The second goal, however, didn’t come from a wide delivery though but from a quick break.

Ralston Gabriel slipped as Saints attacked and Bath responded swiftly.

Smith ran through the middle before laying the ball into space for Adam Mann.

He supplied a great finish into the top corner, with Snedker just unable to keep it out, but he had plenty of time to pick his spot with Saints slow to come out and stop him.

That was the main problem for the hosts who allowed the Romans too much time on the ball, especially in the final third.

That was a surprise because one of the stand-out performers from City was Sambou who did indeed take his opportunity to shine.

He created a lot of forward thrust to lift the spirits of the Clarence Park crowd but Saints found it difficult to create too many chances in the first period.

A sliced volley by Merson in the final minute of the half and a very early effort from Da Costa was the best they could come up with.

The second half didn’t start with any energy, or certainly with any indication of a St Albans comeback, so after 11 minutes of it on came Herd.

He brought with him a change in formation with the back three being sacrificed for a traditional back four.

They also went with a fluid forward line that had Da Costa and Ben Wyatt pushing forward when needed.

And it gave Saints a bit of much-needed impetus, although they still struggled to create a clear-cut chance.

They did have openings though but nothing to really get excited about.

A run from Percy Kiangebeni got him to a good position but his pullback was overhit and Tom Bender blazed over.

Da Costa and Zane Banton then combined and a clever one-two almost put the latter in.

But Bath’s defence were superb all day and saw that one away and the visitors closed out the game with little trouble.

St Albans City: Snedker, Da Costa, Bender, Kiangebeni, Knight, Diedhiou, Wyatt (Banton 74), Sambou, Gabriel (Moyo 65), Merson (Herd 56), Kamdjo.

Subs (not used): Gardiner-Smith, Noble.

Booked: Kiangebeni 73, Herd 80.

Bath City: Clarke, Efete, Straker, Cundy, Batten, Artus, Mann, Morton, Smith (Raynes 71), Brunt, Stearn.

Subs (not used): Amankwaah, Watkins, Ball, Hodges.

Goals: Brunt 9, Mann 33

HT: St Albans City 0 Bath City 2

Attendance: 1,432

Referee: Steven Hughes (Sussex)