City hold high-flying Thurrock

Thurrock 0 St Albans City 0 James Ronayne at Ship Lane ST ALBANS City extended their unbeaten run to three games with a 0-0 draw at high flying Thurrock. A draw was a fair result although both sides had chances to take all three points in a lively encou

Thurrock 0

St Albans City 0

James Ronayne at Ship Lane

ST ALBANS City extended their unbeaten run to three games with a 0-0 draw at high flying Thurrock.

A draw was a fair result although both sides had chances to take all three points in a lively encounter. Indeed had Thurrock's shooting been sharper they could've had maximum points sewn up before the break with David Bryant wasting two glorious opportunities early on.

Injury robbed City of the services of Adam Everitt, Ryan Frater and Gary Cohen with Paul Hakim also unavailable. In came James Quilter, Ian Dunn and Jake Argent with James Fisher skippering the side.

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The pitch was heavy and maybe this unsettled the Saints early on with the first chances going the way of the hosts.

First Bryant received the ball in space on the edge of the City box but curled his effort comfortably clear of Paul Bastock's bar. Bryant's second chance really should've resulted in a goal.

Leon McKenzie released Fola Orilonishe down the left. He drove to the byline and crossed for Bryant who was free at the far post but he fired wide with the goal gapping.

City came into the game the more it progressed and Thurrock goalkeeper Joe Woolley pulled off a fine save to deny Godfrey Poku a goal.

The City midfielder collected the ball out on the City left, cutting back inside and firing from 25 yards but Woolley got down well and palmed the shot around the post.

From the resulting corner the ball came back out to Jake Beecroft who'd taken the original kick. He evaded a challenge before being tugged back inside the area. The referee blew his whistle only to award City a free kick right on the edge of the box which came to nothing.

McKenzie, in his 100th game for Thurrock, turned nicely on the edge of the box and fired inches over Bastock's bar before teeing up Paul Olima who should have hit the target but blazed over the top.

A low drive from Fisher took a nasty bounce nearly catching Woolley out but he managed to keep it out and Dunn couldn't direct his header on target after Roberts had crossed from the rebound.

Quilter, who was City's Man of the Match, came to the Saints' rescue just before the break stretching to cut out a through ball that would've had Thurrock in on goal.

Indeed City's defence looked comfortable throughout, even after losing Peter Smith to illness at half time, with Quilter and Mark Peters doing a sterling job in the middle and keeping Bastock's work to a minimum.

Two minutes before the break Thurrock had the ball in the net. A cross from the right found Bodkin at the far post whose volley came back off the post to Orilonishe who rolled the ball home only for the assistant's flag to rule out the goal.

The last chance of the first half fell to City but neither Dunn nor Argent could poke the ball home after Woolley had dropped Fisher's teasing cross.

A great move by City less than 60 seconds into the second half saw Shields split the defence open with a pass to Dunn but he fired over the bar.

City had the better of the chances in the second half but were unable to beat Woolley in the Thurrock goal.

A Roberts' corner found Fisher at the far post who scooped the ball back into the area. Quilter headed the ball down in the six yard box and a goalmouth scramble ensued before Thurrock cleared.

Young Argent gave a good shift for City up front but his small frame meant he got little change out of Thurrock's two commanding centre halves who were as good as any City have come up against this season.

Former City favourite Lee Flynn had an effort from the corner of the box but Bastock was equal to it.

Flynn then turned provider crossing for McKenzie who beat Bastock to the ball but headed over the bar.

Roberts came the closest to scoring with a venomous effort that came back off the underside of the bar nine minutes from time. The move started when substitute Jonathan O'Donnell lost the ball in midfield only to chase back and win it just inside the City half.

The talented midfielder went on a superb run before slipping the ball to Roberts 20 yards out on the left hand side. He cut inside and let fly with a right foot shot that appeared to be dipping just in the top corner only for it to smack the underside of the woodwork before being scrambled to safety by the home defence.

Thurrock threatened to snatch all three points when Bodkin wriggled free in the City area and unleashed a fierce shot that Bastock had to stick out a boot to turn behind for a corner.

With time running out Lindie diverted O'Donnell's free kick goalwards only to be denied by a smart reflex save from Woolley.

Thurrock: Woolley; Pope, Swaine, Clark, Flynn; Bodkin, Lalite, Olima (Judge 56), Orilonishe (Doyle 77); Bryant, McKenzie (Paine 75).

Subs: Anderson, Andrews.

St Albans City: Bastock; Fisher, Peters, Quilter, Smith (Dedman 46); Beecroft, Poku, Shields, Roberts; Dunn (Lindie 56), Argent (O'Donnell 77).

Subs: Magwood, Sullivan.

Referee: Carl Brook (St Leonards)

Att: 238

Man of the Match: James Quilter.