Holland hits hat-trick

ST ALBANS sealed their second win in three games with a superb 3-0 away win against Harleston Magpies as striker Brett Holland secured his first hat trick for the club.

Having not beaten Magpies in their previous seven meetings, St Albans knew they had a tough job on their hands with the task made even more difficult by the absence of several key players to injury.

In a low key opening to the game neither side could get on top, with both defensive units comfortably keeping the opposition attack at bay. A swift counter attack from the Tangerines, however, saw Glenn Webster feed the ball to Brett Holland who was fouled cynically by the Harleston ‘keeper, with the umpire obliged to give a penalty stroke to St Albans. Andy Dixon stepped up and, despite his excellent conversion record this season, failed to convert.

The score remained level until the break thanks to some great saves from Malcolm Yull in goal and an excellent stop on the line from Dixon.

After the break the visitors came out strongly and deservedly took the lead when Holland deflected home a cross-field ball from Paul Cooper. After a scrappy period in which either team could have scored it was St Albans who doubled their lead when Holland latched onto a pass from Barry Murphy and fired home low and hard into the far corner.

St Albans, buoyed by the 2-0 score line, sought to make sure all three points were secure and some excellent pressing from the forward line forced the Magpies defence into a mistake, with Murphy pouncing and getting away an early shot. Although the Harleston keeper got a foot to the ball, the rebound bounced kindly for Holland who finished on his backhand side to complete his hat trick and seal an emphatic win for St Albans.

Stand in captain Dave Williams was proud of his side’s performance: “I’m absolutely delighted with the win” confirmed Williams, who also paid tribute to the excellent work in training during the week which paid dividends in the weekend encounter.