Gallery: Saints beat Chelmsford in FA Trophy

James Kaloczi and the Saints' supporters celebrates Greg Ngoyi winning goal. Picture: Leigh Page

James Kaloczi and the Saints' supporters celebrates Greg Ngoyi winning goal. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

St Albans City cruised into the next round of the FA Trophy with a 2-1 win over Chelmsford City at their Melbourne Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors started the game brightly, and won the first set piece of the match through Lee Chappell, but Watters’ corner was cleared well by the Essex side.

With 11 minutes on the clock, a City attack found Keenleyside, who exchanged passes with John Frendo, before lopping a ball over to the forward, but the Saints’ top scorer couldn’t add to his tally for the season, as his effort from a tight angle could only find the side-netting.

As the first half wore on, St Albans’ control on the game grew, and the breakthrough came in the 19th minute. Build up play found Mark Nwokeji, who appeared to control the ball with his arm, but referee Michael George waved play on, allowing Nwokeji to thread a ball through to Frendo, who was brought down by goalkeeper Carl Pentney when trying to go around the shot-stopper. Frendo stepped up and converted the spot-kick to give the visitors a lead.

Chelmsford responded almost immediately through Tom Derry, who is on loan from Gillingham, but the energetic forward failed to keep his effort low, and it sailed over Bastock’s bar.

The hosts, who struggled to threaten the St Albans goal throughout the game, missed a guilt-edged chance to equalise in the 33rd minute. Derry fed a well-placed through ball to Bagasan Graham, who found himself one on one with Bastock, but the Chelmsford player hit his effort well wide of the goal when it was easier to score.

The second period began more quietly than the first had, but, Matthew Lock did go close for Chelmsford when he unleashed a powerful effort from over 30 yards out, which whistled past Bastock’s up-right.

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James Gray and Graham Golds introduced Elliot Bailey and Chris Henry, and the latter almost doubled his sides’ lead on the 76 minute mark. Frendo flicked the ball into the path of Henry, who then ran with pace into the area, before unleashing an effort which Pentney had to turn wide for a corner.

With time running out for Chelmsford, they began to go forward with real potency. Watters brought down Derry with a tackle which the referee felt was worthy of the first yellow-card of the afternoon. Christian Smith played his free-kick into the St Albans area, but it was eventually scrambled clear.

Greg Ngoyi was introduced by the Saints in place of John Frendo, and he had an immediate impact on the match. Darren Locke broke up a Chelmsford attack, and found Chris Henry out-wide, who then ran down the wing before crossing into the area, where Ngoyi was waiting, and the forward made no mistake when tapping the ball home to give St Albans a 2-0 lead.

However, the drama wasn’t quite over, as Chelmsford pushed forward from the restart. A long ball forward to Edman’s found the target man, and he had an effort which was saved by Bastock, before Goulding pounced to score the rebound, giving the Essex side some hope.

St Albans almost lost their lead completely in the final minute of time added on, when another long ball forward caused trouble, and it fell to Brayler, but he could only hit his volley wide of Bastock’s net, which all but confirmed Chelmsford’s bow out of the FA Trophy.

Chelmsford City starting line-up: Pentney; Warren; Nicolau; Lock; Smith; Webb; Long; Hughes; Goulding; Derry; Graham. Chelmsford City Subs: Harris; Brayler; St Aimie; Davis; Edmans.

Saints starting line-up: Bastock; Green; Chappell; Kaloczi; Locke; Graham; Keenleyside; Frendo; Nwokeji; Watters. Saints Subs: Henry; Hall; Bailey; Georgiou; Ngoyi.

Attendance: 429