City fail to overcome University Challenge
St Albans City 0 Team Bath 0 James Ronayne at Clarence Park ST ALBANS City made it three clean sheets in a row with an uninspiring 0-0 draw with playoff hopefuls Team Bath. In a game lacking any goal mouth action, City dominated the play but with top-sc
St Albans City 0
Team Bath 0
James Ronayne at Clarence Park
ST ALBANS City made it three clean sheets in a row with an uninspiring 0-0 draw with playoff hopefuls Team Bath.
In a game lacking any goal mouth action, City dominated the play but with top-scorer Paul Hakim sat in the stands, through suspension, goals always looked likely to be a problem.
Simon Martin and Gary Cohen battled manfully up front but with TeamBath lining up with two banks of four and showing little interest in attacking, City couldn't break through.
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With Hakim suspended Steve Castle then had to deal with losing captain Ben Martin after the giant defender woke up with a stiff neck.
Scott Cousins came into the team at centre half and took over the captain's armband with Alex Bailey continuing at left back.
With just three minutes on the clock Jonathan Hunt whipped over a corner and although Cohen beat goalkeeper Jake Meredith to the ball he could only head over the bar.
Cohen was proving a handful and four minutes later he received the ball from Bailey turned inside the defender and fizzed the ball across the face of the goal.
The striker was also a central figure in the game's best chance. Hector Mackie picked the ball up on the left wing, crossed for Cohen who knocked the ball down to Hunt whose half volley was tipped over by Meredith in the Students goal.
The fact that Paul Bastock had little to do in the City goal was down to a combination of solid defence, marshalled well by Cousins, and an opposition attack that lacked any ideas.
City continued to dominate in the second half and just four minutes after the interval Martin got to the byline and cut back for Cohen but just as the former Grimsby man was about to pull the trigger Matt Townley cleared for the university side.
Mackie intercepted a pass and fired a volley over the bar from 25 yards before Martin went down in the box but referee Neil Hair, who controlled the game superbly, waved away the half-hearted City protests.
The closest City came to a breakthrough in the second half actually came from an opposition player. Bailey whipped a cross in from the left and Team Bath skipper Gary Warren headed narrowly past his own goal.
Substitute Inih Effiong then failed to connect with another Hunt corner and when James Fisher fired wide under pressure from the visiting defence you knew that neither side was going to find a winner.
For City it was their third clean sheet in a row and they keep their recent unbeaten run going. Tuesday will prove to be a massive test for Castle and his men and the club are urging fans to get to Clarence Park early on Tuesday with a large crowd expected.
St Albans City: Bastock, Sulaiman, Cousins, Quilter, Bailey, Hunt, Shields, Fisher, Mackie (Effiong 78), Cohen, S.Martin.
Subs not used: Frater, Mortimer, Seeby.
Team Bath: Meredith, Townley, El-Abd, Warren, Caton, Perrott, Smith, Canham, Ake (Cooper 40), Llewellyn (Dillon 69), Benison.
Subs not used: Thorne, Piotrowski, Chitty.
Referee: Neil Hair (Peterborough)