Effiong brace gives City derby honours

Striker’s double and Pete Smith’s first goal for the club give City the perfect start to 2011

Blue Square Bet South

Boreham Wood 0 St Albans City 3

THE New Year started with a bang for St Albans City as they trounced their nearest rivals Boreham Wood to record their second league win of the season.

Former Wood striker Inih Effiong was the destroyer in chief bagging himself two splendid first half goals but it was a real team effort from the Saints with everyman contributing to the victory.

The first of Effiong’s goals owed much to the brilliance of David Hutton whose surging run opened up the Boreham Wood defence leaving Effiong with a simple finish.

Adam Martin’s tenacity was rewarded with possession on the edge of the City box and his quick thinking allowed Hutton to receive the ball in acres of space. The former Tottenham man ran at the home defence, surging deep into the Wood half before slipping the ball to Effiong on the edge of the area. The striker broke into the box and with ‘keeper Ashlee Jones going down well before Effiong had shot, the striker had the simple task of rolling the ball into the unguarded bottom corner.

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If Effiong’s first was all about the build-up play, the second was all about the finish. James Fisher retrieved the ball out on the right touchline and rolled it back to Dave Deeney. Deeney swept over a brilliant first time cross for Effiong who beat former City defender Ryan Moran to the ball and volleyed high into the roof of the net.

Sandwiched between Effiong’s brace was a first goal for the club for Pete Smith courtesy of a quickly taken free kick.

The Saints had gone close from a similar position minutes earlier when Hutton flashed his kick just wide of Jones’ far post but when City were awarded a second free kick for a foul on Effiong, Smith seized the ball and made no mistake.

With the home side still lining up their wall, the former Poole Town man got permission from referee Paul Forrester to take the free kick quickly and he arrowed the ball straight into the top left hand corner of the net.

The Saints were well worth their lead at half time and should have been facing just 10 men too, Gareth Risbridger extremely lucky to still be on the pitch after hacking down Smith when the full-back was clear on goal.

The feeling at half time was that the home side would come out after the break all guns blazing but that was not the case.

A couple of Danny Green free kicks aside – one straight at Bastock, the other wide of the target – the home side offered no attacking threat.

With Ryan Frater and Ben Martin proving impregnable at the back and Adam Martin enjoying his best game in a City shirt in midfield it was City that could and should have added to their tally.

Hutton again tormented the home defence opening up the back four with ease. The pacy wide man slipped the ball into the path of Ollie Palmer who was thwarted by Jones but the ball came back to Hutton who fired wastefully over the bar with Jones stranded on the floor.

Then a long free kick into the area from Smith was nodded down by Ben Martin to Effiong but the striker slipped as he was about to shoot and the ball rolled wide of the target.

Jones continued to keep the score down to just three denying Effiong low down and then springing to his right to keep out an effort from Palmer.

Saints boss Steve Castle had bought on debutant Joe Newell just after the hour mark and the on loan Peterborough man could have had a debut goal to his name.

Hutton was again the provider, dissecting the two centre halves with a beautiful pass that was straight into the path of the City sub. The youngster flicked his left boot at the ball looking to nick it past Jones but the Wood stopper stuck out a hand to keep the ball out of the net.

Boreham Wood captain Mario Noto was denied by a routine save from Bastock but the City ‘keeper had to produce something a bit more special to deny Ali Chaaban after the Lebanese forward had got in a shot from 20 yards. From the resulting corner Ryan Moran looked to have pulled a goal back but the defender’s header was cleared off the line by Frater and Greg Morgan volleyed the loose ball well over the bar to preserve the clean sheet the Saints had worked so hard to maintain.

The win was enough to lift City out of the bottom three and provided the defence with their first clean sheet in 12 games giving the Saints the happiest of starts to the new year.

Boreham Wood: Jones; Garrard, Moran, Wilkinson, Nicolau; Cochrane, Risbridger (Aisien 68), Noto �, Green (Akinola 68), Morgan, Chaaban.

Subs not used: Kamara, Hunter, Lewis.

St Albans City: Bastock; Hocking (Newell 62), B Martin, Frater, Smith (Galbraith 77); Fisher, Deeney, A Martin, Hutton; Palmer, Effiong (Petrucci 75).

Subs not used: Peters, Magwood.

Referee: Paul Forrester (Luton)