City frustrated by draw
PUBLISHED: 10:35 30 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:03 06 May 2010
Thurrock 0 St Albans City 0 James Ronayne at Ship Lane AS 0-0 s go this wasn t bad but it was a result that did neither side any favours. Thurrock are in desperate need for maximum points from all their remaining fixtures as they look to claw themselves
St Albans City 0
James Ronayne at Ship Lane
AS 0-0's go this wasn't bad but it was a result that did neither side any favours. Thurrock are in desperate need for maximum points from all their remaining fixtures as they look to claw themselves to safety while City boss Steve Castle is keen not to let the season fizzle out.
Conditions did nothing to help produce an entertaining game, with the match subjected to heavy rain on several occasions throughout the 90 minutes.
The pitch was far from ideal, with a mud bath in the middle and the touchlines rock hard. Thurrock's decision to water the pitch before the game certainly raised a few eyebrows but despite the conditions the first 45 minutes offered plenty for both sides.
Fola Orilonishe burst down the left and crossed to the far post where Sam Lechmere headed back across goal and narrowly wide.
David Knight, making his full debut for Fleet, looked a more than useful player and only referee Stephen Daly's whistle stopped him from opening the scoring with a wonderful right foot volley. Thankfully the 19-year old was adjudged to have fouled James Quilter.
A dipping volley from Knight was kept out by Lee Butcher before City came to life.
Paul Hakim turned on the halfway line and surged deep into the Fleet territory. 20 yards from goal the striker let fly but goalkeeper Joe Woolley was equal to it.
A sharp turn by Simon Martin on the halfway line created space for Hakim but this time the striker's effort was off target.
Nine minutes from half time Hakim, free in the box and with only the goalkeeper to beat, fired wide when he should have scored from Jonathan Hunt's free kick.
City's top scorer then latched onto a pass but saw his shot canon off the post with Hunt's follow up deflected behind for a corner.
Solomon Shields' clever cross found Simon Martin free at the far post but his tame header was gathered by Woolley at the second attempt.
Lechmere's shot was saved by Butcher and from the goalkeeper's long clearance Hakim had a shot tipped over the bar.
Unfortunately for the 282 supporters, the second half failed to live up to the first 45 minutes.
A long kick from Woolley was well collected by Knight who in two touches controlled the ball, turned and hit a volley from 20 yards that fully tested Butcher.
Unfortunately referee Daly and his yellow card became all too central in the second half. Alex Bailey was booked for a nothing challenge on Che Stadhart and from the resulting free kick former City defender Lee Flynn whipped the ball inches past Butcher's left hand post.
A misplaced pass from Shields allowed Lechmere to have an effort on goal but the tiny winger chipped his shot wide of the far post.
Hunt's low free kick was gathered by Woolley at the near post and another set piece from Hunt was headed wide by Ben Martin.
A 30-yard free kick from Hakim was easily gathered by Woolley and at the other end Butcher did well to hold onto Craig Hughes' effort after the ball bounced wickedly in front of the Tottenham loanee.
Hakim was booked late on after Kenny Clark crashed into the advertising boards, with referee Daly adjudging that Hakim had pushed Clark into the perimeter fence.
Both sides were left to reflect on a point but in reality it was a point that helped neither side's cause.
Thurrock (4-4-2): Woolley; Flynn, Swaine, Clark, Anderson; Lechmere, Dean, Hughes, Orilonishe; Knight, Stadhart. Subs not used: Gilbert, Gilbey, Taylor, Lemonius, Lalite.
St Albans City (4-4-2): Butcher; Bailey, B.Martin, Quilter, Cousins; Sulaiman (Mackie 63), Shields, Everitt, Hunt (Mortimer 85); S.Martin (Cohen 63), Hakim. Subs not used: Frater, Bastock.
Referee: Stephen Daly.