Castle says Simon made an impact

ST Albans City manager Steve Castle hailed the impact of striker Simon Martin who almost snatched a precious win at Welling United on Saturday

ST Albans City manager Steve Castle hailed the impact of striker Simon Martin who almost snatched a precious win at Welling United on Saturday.

Saints were the better side in the opening 45 minutes before relying on the sturdy of work of defenders Ben Martin, James Quilter, James Fisher and Scott Cousins to fend off the Welling threat in the second half.

Welling looked ready to settle for a point in the final stages, with City pushing on and the introduction of striker Martin for Akanni-Sunday Wasiu almost proved pivotal. Welling goalkeeper Jamie Turner fumbled a well struck low shot from Martin before gathering on the line. Turner was then beaten to a bouncing ball by the tall forward who looped a shot over the stranded number one and towards goal. The celebrations were starting just as Welling were able to clear before the ball bounced over the line and referee Mr Woolford wrongly blew for foot up against Martin.

City boss Steve Castle pinpointed his substitute striker as the catalyst for the late pressure. He said: "That is testament to Simon Martin. He wanted to come on and he has shown what he can do so fair play to him. It wasn't happening for the other two lads up top. We may well be a little bit hasty at times to drag them because they can both do something to win us the game but we felt we would put Simon on. He has shown a great attitude and did look the most potent striker on the pitch."

With Paul Bruce not fit enough to start due to flu, experienced midfielder Jonathan Hunt continued his good work in the City side. Hasim Deen returned to the bench after an ankle problem and Castle replaced suspended centre back Ryan Frater with James Quilter who performed well alongside the again impressive Ben Martin.

City, with five wins from six games, looked the more composed side in the first half but Welling, in similar upbeat mood having won five of their last seven matches, began to gain the ascendancy after the break. The point was probably a fair reflection on a tough contest and Castle said: "For 45 minutes, although we didn't show a great deal of quality in the final third, we were the better team. They shaded it the other way round in the second half but we weren't particularly troubled.

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