Boreham Wood 4-0 St Albans City: FA Cup fairy tale comes to an end for The Saints
- Credit: PA
St Albans’ fairytale FA Cup run is over despite a spirited display in a 4-0 loss against Boreham Wood at Meadow Park on Monday night.
In a blood and thunder tie between the two Hertfordshire rivals, Josh Rees opened the scoring for the home side after St Albans failed to clear inside their own box.
Despite a host of chances for Ian Allinson’s men, including Dave Diedhiou hitting the crossbar with a header, Rees was at the double just after half-time to put The Wood in control.
A Gus Mafuta header just after the hour mark put the tie beyond The Saints, and it was 4-0 late on when Scott Boden squared for Adrian Clifton to score inside the area.
Despite the heavy defeat and their cup run coming to an end, St Albans can be proud of their displays in the competition and the effort and endeavour they showed at Meadow Park.
The Saints received an early warning sign with just three minutes on the clock as Kane Smith floated a cross to the far post for an unmarked Boden, but the striker could only turn his volley wide of the far post.
The opening stages proved to be the blood and thunder FA Cup tie that was expected, but The Wood were dominating the ball on their own turf.
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St Albans did have a big chance on 12 minutes when Joy Mukena met John Goddard’s free-kick, throwing himself at the ball and heading just wide of Taye Ashby-Hammond's post.
The visitors held firm for 25 minutes, but when a ball into the box wasn’t dealt with, Boreham Wood capitalised to score the opener.
Pinball inside the area saw Smith challenge for a header which dropped to Callum Adebiyi, but his poor clearance went straight to Rees who smashed a low shot past young goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke.
Ian Allinson and his side will be aggrieved that the goal was not ruled out, with Smith appearing to be in an offside position in the build-up to the goal.
The Saints then grew into the game with Zane Banton looking lively. The winger saw a shot well blocked inside the area, before his touch let him down from a Goddard pass when well placed inside the area.
That good spell nearly led to an equaliser before half-time, with a string of corners resulting in a Dave Diedhiou cannoning back off the crossbar from an Adebiyi cross before the hosts scrambled the ball clear.
St Albans ended the half the stronger, with their final chance before the break seeing Huw Dawson hit a shot straight at Ashby-Hammond after good play down the left.
Despite all the away side’s good work, they found themselves 2-0 behind just after half-time with Rees at the double on 49 minutes.
Smith was involved again, this time evading Alex Lankshear’s challenge on the right before floating in a cross from the byline which was met by the head of Rees, with the ball dropping over Boyce-Clarke's head and into the net.
The midfielder nearly made it a hat-trick to kill off the tie just moments later when Smith found him again, but his clever flick at the near post hit the side netting.
The hosts were now in full control as they pegged St Albans back, with Rees and Smith running riot down the right as the full-back then forced a smart save at the near post from Boyce-Clarke.
Despite plenty of effort and endeavour from the visitors, their FA Cup fairy tale looked dead and buried on 64 minutes when they were undone by another cross.
Coming from the left this time, Jacob Mendy’s teasing ball was met by the determined Mafuta, who raced onto the cross to power home a header and make it 3-0 to the hosts.
It was 4-0 with 10 minutes left as another defensive error proved costly. This time, Tom Bender got caught under a long ball which dropped for Boden, with the striker unselfishly squaring for Clifton who took his time before driving the ball beyond Boyce-Clarke.
The defeat bring St Albans’ FA Cup run to an end, while Boreham Wood will face AFC Wimbledon in round three.