Hammond’s late double downs the Saints
ONE-time St Albans City transfer target Craig Hammond hit a brace as Cambridge City came from a goal down to beat the Saints 2-1 on Saturday.
The forward, who was linked to the Clarence Park club earlier in the term, notched his 11th and 12th Southern Premier Division goals of the season to earn his side all three points.
Cambridge could have been awarded an early penalty as Adam Marriott got the better of Moussa Diarra and as the lanky defender slid in he appeared to take out the forward in the box, however the referee played on.
Saints keeper Nick Jupp was then alert to turn an effort from Jackson Ramm around the near post to keep the scores level.
At the other end winger Dave Keenleyside shot wide after receiving a ball from James Comley and striker Lewis Toomey was thwarted by keeper Zac Barrett who was quick to block him in the box.
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Cambridge were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the visitors’ area after a Diarra foul and James Brighton curled a low effort from the set piece wide of Jupp’s right hand post.
St Albans took the lead in the 23rd minute as Greg Ngoyi’s diving header found the back of the net after Chris Seeby’s cross from the right.
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It was almost 2-0 as Richard Graham’s free-kick just missed Curtis Ujah’s head, but the ball was goalbound until Barrett palmed it around the post.
After the break Cambridge started brightly.
Marriott twisted and turned in the box and bobbled his shot across the face of goal before the same player was then denied by Jupp.
Ngoyi then went close to his second of the afternoon as flicked on a James Comley effort on goal and it came back off the cross bar with the keeper beaten.
However, with 74 minutes gone the game was levelled at 1-1.
Cambridge were awarded a debatable penalty when Robbie Nightingale was adjudged to have been felled by Seeby.
Substitute Hammond stepped forward to take the set-piece and blasted it in past Jupp.
Comley tried his best to restore the St Albans lead, however his right-footed 20 yard drive was superbly turned over the bar by Barrett.
In the 87 minute Ashley Fuller delivered a tasty cross from the left which Hammond headed wide of goal.
That was to be a warning shot as the resulting goal-kick found Graham who was robbed of possession by Nightingale.
His ball into the left side of the box was headed across goal by Marriott for Hammond to nod home the winner from a couple of yards.
The result was St Albans’ second league loss in a row, they will hope to get back to winning ways on Saturday as they host Hitchin Town.