Henry hammers home to earn Saints a point against Hitchin

Chris Henry fires in the equaliser

Chris Henry fires in the equaliser - Credit: Archant

CHRIS Henry’s goal seven minutes from time rescued a 1-1 draw for St Albans City against Hitchin Town this afternoon (Saturday).

Jerome Walker goes for a header

Jerome Walker goes for a header - Credit: Archant

The right winger flashed home a low drive to earn a hard-fought point for City joint managers James Gray and Graham Golds.

James Gray and Simon Martin after Martin has goal ruled out for offside

James Gray and Simon Martin after Martin has goal ruled out for offside - Credit: Archant

Hitchin had the opening chance of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division game as striker John Frendo flicked a header over after meeting Callum Donnelly’s right wing free-kick.

The majority of the first period saw the Canaries on the front foot and they hit the bar through Jake Woolley’s first time effort from 25 yards which had Saints keeper Nick Jupp well beaten.

The hosts were forced to make a change on 20 minutes as forward Greg Ngoyi was injured with Simon Martin replacing him and making his 300th appearance for the club.

Hitchin fired off target three times in the space of two minutes as Frendo twice rifled over and then Woolley did likewise.

City’s first chance came on 28 minutes as Richard Graham’s high free-kick into the box was held up by Curtis Ujah who then fed Martin who had his shot stopped by Town keeper Jonathan North.

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The post came to Hitchin’s aid on 34 minutes as Simon Martin just beat keeper North to a Matt Taylor cross only to see the ball come back off the post before being cleared.

Just before the break City made another change with player-manager Gray bringing himself on in midfield for Taylor.

The second period started in a worrying fashion for The Saints as central defender Fabio Bufano was stretchered off with a leg injury.

Soon after Bufano’s departure the opening goal came.

Jupp did well to save from Frendo with the ball finding its way to the edge of the box where Jhai Dhillion’s effort was blocked, but it fell to Woolley who beat Jupp.

A rare St Albans break just after the hour mark was led by Dave Keenleyside who picked out Walker who had his shot blocked.

Keenleyside looked lively and superbly beat two opponents only to fire off target from the edge of the box.

City had a goal ruled out after a scramble in the Hitchin area, but they did get back level on 83 minutes with Henry’s fifth goal of the season after good work by Walker.

Following the equaliser neither side had a clear chance to grab the winner, although Michale Noone’s cross-shot looked like it may loop in, however Jupp safety gathered.