Gallery: Saints lose second consecutive league game

John Frendo scores a late consolation goal. Picture by Leigh Page

John Frendo scores a late consolation goal. Picture by Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

St Albans City fell to their second consecutive league defeat in a row on Saturday afternoon, when Stourbridge claimed all three points.

Harrision Georgiou making a second-half debut for the Saints. Picture by Leigh Page

Harrision Georgiou making a second-half debut for the Saints. Picture by Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

The game began at a fairly slow pace, with both sides looking to hit the ball long instead of keeping it on the ground. However, it soon sparked into life, when the visitors opened the scoring thanks to a poor bit of City defending.

A Stourbridge attack down the left saw the ball fall to Chappell, but instead of clearing, the left-back decided to let the ball go past him, and this allowed Billingham to sneak in and take the ball, before he beat Bastock at his near post with a shot which went high into the goalkeepers net.

The Saints had a number of chances to equalise before half-time, but they failed to find the net.

In the 36th minute, Matt Taylor played a ball across the front of the Stourbridge goal, but wide-man Victor Osubu failed to get a meaningful touch, and it went out for a goal kick.

With a minute of the first half remaining, Lee Chappell’s long throw caused a scramble in the Glassboys area, as the Stourbridge defence failed to clear, allowing both Nwokeji and Frendo try and get contact on the ball, but neither could muster a testing effort for Dean Coleman, before Richard Graham blasted an effort over in the last action of the half.

Both sides had chances after the interval to score, with Luke Benbow only being denied by the legs of Ben Martin after he had attacked down the left and had his shot blocked virtually on the line by the central defender. At the other end, a cross into the deep found Mark Nwokeji, but he could only head the ball the wide of the mark.

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In the 59th minute the Saints recorded their first shot on target of the game, when Howard Hall released an effort from 25 yards out which the goalkeeper had to tip over.

However, the resulting corner came to nothing, and as Stourbridge played a long ball forward, a moment of madness seemed to overcome Paul Bastock. The goalkeeper managed to grab the ball from the air, despite a Stourbridge player also going for the ball.

Even though he had it, Bastock then seemingly kicked the Stourbridge, which was seen by the linesman, and referee Anthony Da Costa awarded a penalty, while also booking the goalkeeper.

Sean Geddes gladly accepted the opportunity, stepping up right-footed, sending the ball straight down the middle of York Road End for his seventh goal from the spot this season.

Both sides’ made a rash of substitutions, as the Stourbridge looked to hold onto their lead, while the Saints tried to push forward. James Gray introduced Chris Henry, along with David Keenleyside, and new loan signing Harrison Georgiou, who has joined from Leyton Orient.

These substitutions did have some impact for the Saints. John Frendo’s 94th minute shot deflected off a defender into the net, and while there was still time for Keenleyside to blast a free-kick over Coleman’s goal, this late rally was too little too late, as the Saints fell to their fourth defeat of the season.

City will be looking turn things around next Saturday, when Billericay Town visit Clarence Park in the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, kick-off is 3pm.

Saints starting line-up: Bastock; Hall; Chappell; Martin; Wharton; Graham; Taylor; Comley; Frendo; Nwokeji; Osubu. Saints Subs: Henry; Georgiou; Locke; Bailey; Keenleyside.

Stourbridge starting line-up: Coleman; Lloyd; Kalena; Richards; Geddes; Bennett; Drake; Fitzpatrick; Benbow; Billingham; Canavan. Cambridge City Subs: Rowe; Broadhurst;

Oliver; Washbou-rne; Green.