City leave it late to snatch a point
St Albans City 1 (Mark Peters 90+2) Lewes 1 (Sam Crabb 67) James Ronayne at Clarence Park MARK Peters first goal for St Albans City helped them out of trouble as they secured a draw with Lewes to extend their unbeaten home record. Assistant manager Pet
St Albans City 1 (Mark Peters 90+2)
Lewes 1 (Sam Crabb 67)
James Ronayne at Clarence Park
MARK Peters' first goal for St Albans City helped them out of trouble as they secured a draw with Lewes to extend their unbeaten home record.
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Assistant manager Peters, a second half substitute who was utilised up front, swooped to head home Drew Roberts' cross in the 92nd minute after Sam Crabb's goal looked like giving Lewes all three points.
Luke Thurlbourne was dropped from City's starting XI for a breach of club discipline with Darren Quinton his replacement while Thurlbourne's brother Jamie made his debut in place of the suspended Adam Everitt.
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The game was a sluggish affair and it took 15 minutes before either 'keeper was called in to action with Lewes custodian Rikki Banks holding onto Gary Cohen's effort from the edge of the box.
A long ball out from Andrew Pearson nearly caught the City defence cold but Dan Beck's lob over Bastock drifted wide of the post.
A poor clearance from Banks fell straight to the feet of Cohen and although he couldn't get the ball under control, Danny Green was able to advance towards goal but his shot went wide.
The last meaningful action of the first half saw Ryan Frater blaze a free kick low past Banks' right-hand post.
City looked a lot brighter in the second half and Banks was forced into a smart save to deny Green.
Bastock, a spectator for the most part, produced a good save to deny Sam Crabb after the Lewes man got free of Frater. The striker's first shot was low and kept out by Bastock's boot and with the ball spinning goalbound the keeper did well to claw the ball away.
Lewes grew as the half progressed and Bastock was called into action to deny David Wheeler's venomous effort.
Lewes opened the scoring in the 67th minute. Lewes were given too much space on the right wing and Wheeler's low cross was fired into the roof of the net by Crabb.
City were nearly punished further when Quilter's clearance was blocked but Crabb scuffed his shot and Bastock easily held the ball.
Lewes' inability to clear their lines nearly cost them as Quinton's lobbed shot went narrowly wide with Banks back-pedalling at a rate of knots.
City thought they'd grabbed an equaliser when Frater met a Thurlbourne cross but the former Hitchin man's header went wide of the unguarded goal and as City continued to push for that elusive equaliser a free kick out on the right from Green was palmed over the bar by Banks.
A break by Scott Kirkwood should have provided Lewes with their second. With City pushing everyone forward they were always living dangerously and from a City corner the visitors broke quickly. Kirkwood nicked the ball past the final City defender and with Louis Pople alongside him they looked odds on to score but Bastock pulled off a great save to deny Kirkwood and Fisher completed the clean-up operation.
City eventually drew level in injury time when Roberts wriggled free on the right. He crossed and Banks, under pressure from Cohen flapped at the ball allowing Peters' to swoop and head the ball into the empty net.
There was still time for Lewes to threaten when Pople went through on goal unchallenged but thankfully for City he fluffed his shot woefully wide.
St Albans City (4-3-3): Bastock; Bailey (Peters 82), Quilter, Frater, J.Thurlbourne (Thomas 83); Shields (Chillingworth 67), Fisher, Quinton; Roberts, Cohen, Green.
Subs: Chillingworth, Peters, O'Donnell, Thomas, Emery.
Lewes (4-4-1-1): Banks; Barness, Pearson, Breach, Fisk, Wheeler, Pearoux (Kirkwood 72) ,Keehan, Walder; Crabb (Pople 72), Beck (Royce 53).
Subs: Timms, Foreman.
Referee: Neil Hair (Peterborough)
Man of the Match: Paul Bastock