City set for Cup replay

St Albans City and East Thurrock United share six goals

FA Cup Second Round Qualifying

East Thurrock United 3 St Albans City 3

FOR the second time this season St Albans City will be forced to replay in the FA Cup after David Howell’s side shared six goals with East Thurrock United.

The Saints had led 3-1 going into first half stoppage time but goals in added time and just after the restart got East Thurrock back on level terms and forced Tuesday night’s replay.

The Saints were slow out of the blocks and found themselves behind after just nine minutes when Kris Newby’s shot from an acute angle sailed over Nick Jupp and into the City goal.

The home side were ahead for just six minutes as City awoke from their slumbers and drew level through Tobi Jinadu. A corner from the visitors was cleared as far as Ross Dedman who picked out skipper David Ijaha and he curled the cross to the far post where Jinadu stole in to head home his third goal in six appearances this season.

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That was how it stayed until 10 minutes before the interval when City netted twice in nine minutes to seemingly seize the initiative in the tie.

First Barrie Matthews converted from the penalty spot after Thurrock stopper Richard Wray had hauled down Jerome Walker before Rob Haworth netted after good work from Walker.

Unfortunately for Howell his side were unable to maintain their two goal advantage until half-time as the home side gave themselves a shot in the arm with a goal two minutes into injury time.

The City defence switched off momentarily allowing East Thurrock’s Petri Elbi to exchange passes with Kye Ruel before shooting through the legs of Jupp, and it was a similar story just seven minutes after the resumption when more below-par defending was punished by Ruel.

Elbi repaid Ruel for his part in the striker’s goal, flicking the ball into the path of his strike partner who stabbed the ball past Jupp to restore parity.

City recovered from that setback to dominate possession but the closest they came to edging back in front was when Matthews saw his header denied by a splendid save from Wray.

Jupp matched that with a good save to deny substitute Sam Higgins but the visitors were let off the hook when Ruel stabbed the rebound wide of the target.

Haworth too had a good chance to win the tie for the Saints when he escaped the attentions of his marker to meet Walker’s cross but the striker headed off target to set up a rematch at Clarence Park this Tuesday evening.

East Thurrock: Wray; Mabuyaku (Sammons 64), Wood �, Pedie, Stephens; Newby, Ramkin, Gilbey, Collins (Cohen 85); Ruel, Elbi (Higgins 69).

Subs not used: Cass, Muiguo, Riley.

City: Jupp; Dedman, Jinadu, Moran, Ralph; Sean Shields, Ijaha �, Watts, Matthews; Haworth (Bakare 88), Walker.

Subs not used: Haisley, Cutchey, Bent, Ehui, Sol Shields, Viner.

Referee: Ian Bentley (West Wickham)

Att: 181