Late goals flatter Boro' as valiant Saints bow out
Stevenage Borough 4 (Andy Drury 43, Steve Morison 84, 90+7, Boylan 87) St Albans City 1 (Gary Cohen 81) James Ronayne at Broadhall Way ST ALBANS City bowed out of the FA Trophy despite a valiant performance against rivals Stevenage Borough. City bossed
Stevenage Borough 4 (Andy Drury 43, Steve Morison 84, 90+7, Boylan 87)
St Albans City 1 (Gary Cohen 81)
James Ronayne at Broadhall Way
ST ALBANS City bowed out of the FA Trophy despite a valiant performance against rivals Stevenage Borough.
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City bossed the game for 85 minutes but three late goals settled the tie with the visitors ruing the fact that they aren't clinical enough in front of goal.
Adam Everitt returned to the starting 11 while Luke Thurlbourne lined up for the last scheduled game before his loan expires.
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Chances were at a premium early on but it was the Saints who went closest to opening the scoring.
A lovely passing move between Hassan Sulaiman, Paul Hakim and James Quilter presented Jonathan Hunt with a great opportunity but the midfielder's effort was easily stopped by Chris Day in the Boro goal.
Hunt then delivered a corner to the edge of the area and Sulaiman's right-foot effort went over the bar. Gary Cohen's 20-yard strike was saved by Day as St Albans dominated the opening exchanges.
Steve Morison has caused most Blue Square Premier defences trouble over the past three seasons but Ben Martin and Ryan Frater were keeping Stevenage's top scorer quiet.
Peter Vincenti went close with a fiercely-struck shot that Paul Bastock did well to turn around the post.
With thirty minutes gone Sulaiman played the ball to Cohen and he shot but Day was once again equal to it.
Ten minutes later, Morison beat Everitt and delivered a delightful cross to the far post where Vincenti headed narrowly wide.
Two minutes before the interval, Thurlbourne saw a 25-yard effort tipped over the bar but from the resulting corner, Stevenage broke away and opened the scoring.
Lawrie Wilson picked the ball up on the edge of the Boro' box and ran the length of the pitch before crossing for Lee Boylan. Boylan's effort was saved by Bastock but as the ball squirmed around in the box, Andy Drury was on hand to squeeze the ball home.
Wilson and Morison combined again in first half injury time to set up Drury but he somehow lifted his effort over the bar from six yards.
Eight minutes after the break Stevenage boss Graham Westley brought Mitchell Cole on for Calum Willock and Cole immediately got in on the action. First he fired into the side netting and then he received a short corner but his goalbound effort was blocked by Martin.
The game was marred by a nasty injury to Thurlbourne, with the midfielder receiving lengthy treatment before being carried off on a stretcher with Lee Clarke his replacement.
Clarke's introduction changed the game and City soon drew level. Stevenage failed to clear their area and Clarke nodded the ball to Cohen, who fought off two defenders and fired the ball home to the delight of the large travelling support.
It appeared that there was only going to be one winner as City pushed for a second but disaster struck when Clarke was robbed in midfield and Morison showed why he's one of non-league's hottest properties by bending his shot into the far corner of the net.
City fought back and were awarded a corner. With three minutes of normal time left to play, Bastock went forward to join the attack, forgetting that there was a lengthy period of injury time to come. Stevenage cleared to Vincenti and he played the ball to Boylan to add Boro's third, despite strong protests from Everitt that the Boro' man was offside.
Sam Hurrell looked dangerous when he was introduced and he crossed to Cohen but he headed straight at Day.
There were seven minutes of injury time added and Boro' scored their fourth with a breakaway goal in the last minute. Cole eased past Fisher down the left wing and rolled the ball across goal for Morison to tap home his second of the game.
It was a good display from the Saints and there are plenty of positives to take from the game, however they need to be more clinical in front of goal and stop giving their opponents easy goals.
Stevenage Borough (4-3-3): Day, Wilson, Roberts, Albrighton, Laird, Drury (Anderson 80), Mills, Vincenti, Boylan (Black 89), Morison, Willock (Cole 53). Subs not used: Bayes, Bostwick.
St Albans City (4-4-2): Bastock, Fisher, B.Martin, Frater, Everitt, Sulaiman (Hurrell 76), Thurlbourne (Clarke 71), Quilter, Hunt, Cohen, Hakim (S.Martin 76). Subs not used: Nicholls, Cousins.