St Albans City sink four-lorn Basingstoke

PUBLISHED: 14:43 10 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:01 06 May 2010

BRUCE ALMIGHTY: Three from Three from the penalty spot

BRUCE ALMIGHTY: Three from Three from the penalty spot

PAUL Bruce scored twice for the second match in succession as St Albans City thumped Basingstoke Town at Clarence Park on Saturday. Goalkeeper Paul Bastock was in strong form on his return to Clarence Park after leaving during the summer. Right back James

SALUTE: Wasiu Akanni Sunday saultes the York Road faithful following his first goal for the club

PAUL Bruce scored twice for the second match in succession as St Albans City thumped Basingstoke Town at Clarence Park on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Paul Bastock was in strong form on his return to Clarence Park after leaving during the summer. Right back James Fisher missed out with an ankle injury, with Hasim Deen switching from midfield to cover and Lee Clarke earning a start in midfield.

Midfielder Bruce opened the scoring, showing an iron nerve to convert his third spot kick in two games, on 22 minutes. Basingstoke defender Jason Bristow was penalised for handball in the box despite his protestations and Bruce sent goalkeeper Nick Jones the wrong way.

City should have extended their lead in the first half but had to wait until just seconds after the restart when Paul Hakim controlled sharply a pass from Hassan Sulaiman and thundered a shot home for 2-0.

Nigerian born striker Wasiu Akanni Sunday celebrated his first goal for the club after a thumping finish following a fine passing move and a deflected shot from the enterprising Sulaiman.

Basingstoke notched a goal back when a free kick from the right was delivered onto the head of former Woking forward James Taylor who guided his header into the bottom corner.

The recovery was short-lived for Town as Bruce added a spectacular fourth goal on the hour mark when he exchanged passes with Sulaiman from a short corner and then curled a swirling effort into the far corner from outside the box on the right flank.

Centre back Ryan Frater hit the bar with a thumping header and saw his powerful free kick saved as the match ended 4-1 to classy City.

The three points reduced the deficit to the safety zone to one point. City, now in 20th spot on 26 points from 33 games, go away to league leaders Lewes on Saturday. Welling United in 19th place have 27 points from 33 games and will be looking for a home win on Saturday against fellow strugglers Weston-super-Mare, in 18th spot with 31 points from 31 games.

The City reserve clash against Harlow Town set for Monday at Clarence Park has been called off due to the inclement weather.

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