Chappell trebles up as Saints dominate
- Credit: Archant
After four tough matches which saw the Saints pick up just one point from a possible 12, the Saints got back to winning ways courtesy of a Lee Chappell hat-trick at Clarence Park.
This, despite both sides having men sent off by referee Lloyd Wood.
The match started in familiar fashion for the Saints, going 1-0 down early on. A goal mouth scramble from a set piece eventually fell to Maidenhead’s Adrian Clifton, who, from the edge of the area, unleashed a strike which flew into net with just seven minutes on the clock.
It looked like it could turn into another game where the Saints waste the chances that come their way, when Steve Wales played an excellent ball through to Sean Shields, who attempted to get round the onrushing Elvijs Putnins in the visiting goal-mouth, but the goalkeeper had other ideas, and dived at his feet to deny him.
With 18 minutes on the clock, an innocuous looking incident ended in Maidenhead being reduced to ten men. Referee Lloyd Wood awarded a foul on the half-way line after a City player was brought down, but, as the official walked towards the incident, goal scorer Adrian Clifton, for no obvious reason, pushed Tom Ward in the face, leaving Mr Wood with no choice but to send the Magpies attacker off.
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That dismissal proved to be a turning point, as the Saints looked to make the most of their man advantage. They could have been so easily on level terms soon after, but John Frendo’s instinctive turn and shot was excellently palmed away by the acrobatic Putnins.
However, with the half hour mark approaching, City were back on level terms. A long ball forward found the head of captain Ben Martin, who flicked it into the direction of August Player Of The Month Steve Wales, and he found the top corner with a superb dipping volley.
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It wasn’t long until the home side were ahead. A foul on a St Albans player ended in Lee Chappell delivering a free-kick into the area from 40 yards out. Goalkeeper Elvijs Putnins looked to come claim it, but he horribly misjudged the flight of the ball, and despite a desperate palm from the Maidenhead ‘keeper, the set-piece flew over his head and into the back of net.
The home side’s dominance continued, and Chappell grabbed his second, and City’s third of the afternoon five minutes before the interval. A long ball over the top from Tom Ward found Chappell, and he ran into the area from wide, before picking his spot and finishing past the out-stretched Putnins.
The Magpies made a change at the interval, as they looked to stop the rush of goals by bringing on Daniel Brown in place of Melchi Emmanual-Williamson.
Jimmy Gray and Graham Golds were forced into a substitution of their own a couple of minutes later, as Danny Green came on in place of loan signing Charlie Gorman, who was forced off by a foot injury.
The opening quarter of an hour of the second period saw the Saints happy to sit on their two goal lead, as the visitors failed to pose a real threat.
But, with an hour gone, the Saints were next to have a man dismissed. Maidenhead broke with speed, and Ward caught attacker around 20 yards out. Ward was brandished with his second yellow card of the match, and sent for an early shower.
Welch was called upon to make his first real save of the match in the 69th minute, but he comfortably palmed the strike wide for a corner. The Magpies failed to create anything from the resulting set-piece.
With the game entering its final stages, Maidenhead brought on Sam Barratt and Reece Tison-Lascaris, while St Albans introduced Loick Pires and David Keenleyside in place of John Frendo and Sean Shields.
There was one last goal-scoring opening to come before the full time whistle. With the match entering its second of four minutes of additional time, David Keenleyside played the ball into the path of Lee Chappell, who took a touch before striking the ball right-footed into the far corner of Putnins goal.
Victory sees the Saints move up to ninth place. They are next in action away to Wealdstone on Saturday afternoon, kick-off at The Vale is 3pm.
St Albans line-up: Welch; Kyriacou; Chappell; Kaloczi; Martin; Ward; Gorman (Green 47); Comley; Frendo (Pires 66); Shields (Keenleyside 74); Wales. Subs: Clarke; Locke
Maidenhead line-up: Putnins; Emmanuel-Williamson (Brown 45); Solomon; Nicholls; Nisbet; Erskine; Green; Clifton; Brown; Behzadi (Barratt 74); Upward (Tison-Lascaris 74). Subs: Adeyinka; Davies.