Hall nets the winner as Saints go down to League Two side Barnet
Pre-season friendly St Albans City 0 Barnet 1 David Brawn at Clarence Park ST Albans City were sunk by a stunning second half goal from Barnet trialist Ryan Hall at Clarence Park on Tuesday. Both sides were in action for the first time this summer
St Albans City 0 Barnet 1
David Brawn at Clarence Park
ST Albans City were sunk by a stunning second half goal from Barnet trialist Ryan Hall at Clarence Park on Tuesday.
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Both sides were in action for the first time this summer and enjoyed a good work out on a nice looking Clarence Park pitch.
City boss Steve Castle and Barnet manager Paul Fairclough, who scored nine times in 104 appearances for St Albans City as a player, both named a different XI for each half.
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City lined up in a 4-4-2 with regulars Paul Bastock, James Fisher, James Quilter, Ben Martin, Hassan Sulaiman Simon Martin and Paul Hakim all starting the match. The team was made up with trialists Parys Okai, formerly of Hitchin Town, at left back, former Stevenage Borough youth player Ashley Grinham at centre back, winger Rod Hicks, who featured once for City reserves last term and started his career at Peterborough United, and midfielder Jamie Eames, who featured for Colney Heath FC before joining the academy at Norwich City.
Barnet fielded a strong side including star players Joe Devera, Albert Adomah, Ashley Carew and Adam Birchall.
Fairclough's team controlled the early stages and threatened the City defence with some vibrant attacking, particularly down the left flank where full back Kenny Gillett and midfielder Keiron St Aimie linked up well. Striker Cliff Akurang, who joined the Bees after sparkling in the Blue Square Premier for Histon last term, spurned the first good chance when he failed to connect with an arrowed cross from Gillett.
Winger St Aimie burst through the City defence on 11 minutes but he lost control of the ball and was denied by and the ever alert veteran 'keeper Bastock, complete with bulging muscles from his arduous summer work out regime.
Eames showed flair and vision in midfield and the gazelle-like Hicks stretched his legs down the left flank for City while at the other end highly-rated Barnet midfielder Adomah flashed a shot well wide.
Bastock was caught out once when he came for a high corner kick and failed to get to the ball. Barnet midfielder Neal Bishop miscued his shot into the ground from 18 yards and Eames was in the right place to head clear off the line.
The City second half side included Lee Clarke in attack alongside former Cambridge United forward Daniel Chillingworth, who made three appearances on loan with Saints last season. Scott Cousins and Ryan Frater lined up in defence alongside Ola Williams, who featured for Boreham Wood against City last season and Grinham who continued on from the first half. Goalkeeper Jake Palmer, previously on the books of Ipswich Town, took over from Bastock and in midfield, Jonathan Hunt lined up on the left with Adam Fry, son of ex-St Albans City player and current Peterborough United Director of Football Barry Fry. Former Aldershot Town man Sean Ridgway and ex-Barnet winger Ryan Mattos made up the midfield quartet.
Fairclough changed all 11 players and fielded six trialists. Both sides took time to find any rhythm with the League Two side looking the most likely to find the net. Palmer did well to deny second half skipper Danny Hart and City right back Williams headed clear well at the back post after a good cross from the lively Hart.
Frater showed his defensive quality on 62 minutes with a fine sliding challenge to deny the speedy striker Luke Medley.
Barnet finally struck on 64 minutes with a spectacular left foot volley from Hall. The ball dropped invitingly to the winger and from outside the box he lashed his shot high into the net giving Palmer no chance.
Hall soon went off injured but Barnet continued to press forward and striker Elliot Charles hit a deflected effort just wide.
Clarke spurned two half chances to level for City, failing to get a shot away after he controlled a superb pass from the classy playmaker Hunt and then heading into the ground and up over the bar after a good cross from Fry. In between Barnet midfielder Hart lashed a shot against the angle of post and bar after a well-worked move.
In the final minute Charles smashed a shot just wide from long range as Barnet edged a competitive contest.
City first half: P. Bastock, J. Fisher, P. Okai, J. Quilter, B. Martin, A. Grinham, H. Sulaiman, J. Eames (A. Fry 39), S. Martin, P. Hakim, R. Hicks. Unused sub: H. Twomey.
Barnet first half: R. Beckwith, A. Carew, M. Leary, J. Devera, K. Gillett, A. Adomah, N. Bishop, M. Porter, K. St Aimie, C. Akurang, A. Birchall
City second half: J. Palmer, O. Williams, S. Cousins, A. Fry, J. Fisher, R. Frater, R. Mattos, S. Ridgway, L. Clarke, D. Chillingworth, J. Hunt. Unused sub: H. Twomey.
Barnet second half: L. Harrison, J. Tabiri, D. Alowisi, M. Swabie, M. O'Toole, D. Hart, J. Cochrane, N. McKoy, R. Hall, E. Charles, L. Medley.
Referee: M. Russell.
Attendance: Around 400.