Buchanan impresses as City put six past youthful Dagenham

Elliott Buchanan scored twice for St Albans against Dagenham and Redbridge. Picture: Bob Walkley

Elliott Buchanan scored twice for St Albans against Dagenham and Redbridge. Picture: Bob Walkley - Credit: Archant

Elliott Buchanan earned himself a meeting with the St Albans City management about a possible stay at the club after a superb display against a Dagenham and Redbridge XI on Tuesday.

The trialist, formerly of Stevenage, Boreham Wood and Bromley, started in a strong side that will likely resemble City’s starting line-up when they welcome Hayes and Yeading to Clarence Park for the start of the Conference South season on August 9.

And the 24-year-old took his chance, scoring twice in the second half as the Saints ran out 6-2 winners, and earned high praise from joint manager James Gray.

“I thought he was tremendous and he took his two goals well,” he said.

“He had to do a lot of defending with the full-back in the first 30 minutes, but once we highlighted [how to combat Dagenham] he managed to keep himself higher up the pitch and he’s always a goal threat.”

When asked about Buchanan’s status with the club, Gray added: “He’s a trialist at the moment. We became aware of his availability and managed to get him to training and from what we’ve seen he’s got something to offer.

“We’ll sit down on with him on Thursday and see what his thoughts are.”

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Buchanan was one of five trialists on show during Tuesday’s win over a Dagenham and Redbridge. Taylor Miles, a West Ham scholar who was released at the end of the season, looked the most impressive but, with him searching for professional football, he could be difficult to nail down.

Kayode Bola made a cameo in the second half and was at fault for Dagenham’s second goal, but the centre-back boasts Bolton Wanderers as a former club so his potential is high.

Max Lette Jallow had his moments in a brief appearance, although he looked a little bit too keen to impress going forward rather stick to his defensive duties.

Ex-Saint Warren McBean had his first taste of football for 18 months so was understandably rusty. Still, he scored a good goal and could be in the running to partner John Frendo up front should he sign with the club.

That honour seemingly belongs to Loick Pires at the moment. Pires struggled in the first half but came into the game in the second and scored an excellent goal and was involved in another.

It was an encouraging sign for City, who, apart from Frendo, struggled to bring in top-quality strikers last season. George Sykes, Mark Nwokeji and Peter Dean showed promise but their goals to games ratios were poor.

Frendo will score goals but the team can’t rely on him like it did last season, making Pires’ success integral to St Albans’ chances of achieving their aims.