City battle past ill-disciplined Barwell

Richard Graham congratulates Greg Ngoyi (10). Picture by Robert Walkley

Richard Graham congratulates Greg Ngoyi (10). Picture by Robert Walkley - Credit: Archant

ST ALBANS City climbed out of the rut they had dug for themselves with a 3-1 win over nine-man Barwell.

Nick Jupp punches clear. Picture by Robert Walkley

Nick Jupp punches clear. Picture by Robert Walkley - Credit: Archant

Goals from David Keenleyside, Greg Ngoyi and Curtis Shaw helped overturn a 1-0 deficit to halt City’s three-game losing streak and put them back into play-off contention.

Joint boss James Gray said the win puts Saints “back in the picture.”

“I thought we were excellent today,” he said.

“We knew it was going to be a tough, physical battle but we took charge of the game after Barwell’s first sending off. I don’t think the score line flattered us.

“We are chasing the play-offs, which seemed beyond, but if you look at the next few games, if we can take maximum points then you never know. We’ll keep fighting and see what happens.”

Barwell settled the quicker of the two sides on Saturday and it wasn’t long before Nick Jupp was called into action to save from Danny Gaunt’s free kick.

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The teams traded barbs for the first 20 minutes, with Ngoyi coming closest for City, but it was Barwell who took the initiative. Jamie Towers tucking away a penalty after the referee adjudged he was fouled by James Kaloczi.

The game swung in City’s favour on the 30-minute mark as Barwell’s Richard Lavery was given his marching orders. Four minutes later Keenleyside linked up with Richard Graham and James Comley to score his first Southern League goal.

City’s second goal came after the break, Brad Wadkins beating the offside trap before squaring the ball to Ngoyi to tap home.

City now began to play with greater freedom. James Kaloczi, quite brilliant playing just in front of the City defence, forced a good save, as did Chris Henry and substitute Elliot Bailey while Layne Eadie flashed a long range effort wide.

Any thoughts of a comeback evaporated with Danny Newton’s shameful tackle on Comley and five minutes into added time St Albans wrapped up the points with another goal on the counter-attack.

City Youth player Bailey teed up fellow substitute and debutant Curtis Shaw who clipped the third goal past Liam Castle.