City stop the rot
Weston-super-Mare 1 St Albans City 1 ADAM Everitt scored his first goal for St Albans City as they ended their run of four straight defeats with a point in a fiery game at Weston-super-Mare. Everitt, who put through his own net the week before, popped up
Weston-super-Mare 1 St Albans City 1
ADAM Everitt scored his first goal for St Albans City as they ended their run of four straight defeats with a point in a fiery game at Weston-super-Mare.
Everitt, who put through his own net the week before, popped up to head home from a Jonathan Hunt free kick and had it not been for wayward shooting City could have taken home an important three points from a game that was interrupted by spats between the two sides.
Steve Castle restored Chris Seeby and Hassan Sulaiman to the starting line up with Adam Everitt moving to centre half and James Fisher lining up in a central midfield berth.
It was Fisher who had the first effort which was saved by Ryan Northmore in the Weston-super-Mare goal.
The pitch was heavy and was subject to an early morning pitch inspection, but despite this City played some nice, crisp passing early on as Weston struggled to get over the halfway line.
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Gary Cohen crossed from the right wing but his pass was marginally in front of the advancing Paul Hakim.
City broke the deadlock in the 20th minute when Hunt whipped in a free kick and hesitation from Northmore allowed Everitt to ghost in and head into the net for City's first goal away from home in four games.
The Seagulls almost replied instantly when the City defence waited for an offside flag that never came and only a wonderful save by Paul Bastock stopped Manny Williams from equalising.
A free kick from Seeby found Hunt at the far post and despite good footwork from Hunt to get past Craig Rand, the veteran winger shot straight at Northmore.
City continued to probe looking for a second goal and only a great save from Northmore stopped Sulaiman from extending the visitors' lead.
The outstanding Ben Martin was harshly cautioned by referee Brett Huxtable for bringing down Williams just before the break, but Ben Wells effort from the resulting free kick failed to test Bastock.
Weston introduced Marc McGregor at half-time for the ineffective Dean Grubb and the change proved a masterstroke.
Weston began to dominate and eleven minutes into the second period McGregor threaded the ball through to Williams and despite appearing to be offside he was allowed to carry on and fire past Bastock.
City weathered the storm and Sulaiman somehow managed to miss when Hunt headed James Quilter's cross back across goal.
Hunt was proving highly influential and he was denied by Northmore after Sulaiman's cross field pass.
The game was delayed as the referee spoke to a member of the Weston coaching side following a confrontation with Scott Cousins, with the member of staff lucky not to be sent to the stands.
The bad tempered nature of the game continued when Quilter found his name in the referee's book following what appeared an innocuous challenge with Darren Mullings, who was also cautioned for his retaliation.
Castle bought Simon Martin on for Seeby and he went about causing the Seagulls' defence problems.
Weston failed to clear a corner and Quilter headed back into the box for Martin but his header was saved.
Hakim should have secured all three points when Gary Cohen laid the ball off from Martin's cross, but City's top scorer fired wide from six yards out.
City came perilously close to going home empty handed when Mullings raced into the box but the ever reliable Bastock tipped his effort round the post.
Williams, who had already been booked for dissent, was lucky not to be given his marching orders when he threw Cohen towards the metal safety barriers and the action wasn't over there when both sides confronted each other during the post match warm down. Three stewards and several members of coaching staff were required to diffuse the situation before the sides retreated to the dressing rooms.
Weston-super-Mare: Northmore, Willshire, Green, Rand, Parinello, Wells, Mullings, Harris, Dean Grubb (McGregor 46), Williams, Partridge. Subs not used: Thorne, Brown, Dayle Grubb, Armstrong.
St Albans City: Bastock, Seeby (S.Martin 76), Everitt, B.Martin, Cousins, Sulaiman, Fisher, Quilter, Hunt, Cohen, Hakim. Subs not used: Charge, Mackie, Mortimer.
Referee: Brett Huxtable (Torrington, Devon)