Magic Johnson goal earns City point
St Albans City 1 (Danny Johnson 74) Braintree Town 1 (Mark Jones 85) James Ronayne at Clarence Park TWO moments of quality from Danny Johnson and Mark Jones lit up an otherwise damp squib at Clarence Park on Saturday. In a game short on chances and affe
St Albans City 1 (Danny Johnson 74)
Braintree Town 1 (Mark Jones 85)
James Ronayne at Clarence Park
TWO moments of quality from Danny Johnson and Mark Jones lit up an otherwise damp squib at Clarence Park on Saturday.
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In a game short on chances and affected by the swirling winds, City drew first blood when Johnson waltzed his way through the Iron defence before stabbing home.
City were just five minutes away from making it back-to-back wins when Jones received a pass from George Purcell and fired past Bastock from 25 yards and despite Braintree captain Paul Goodacre being sent off City had to settle for a point.
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There was only one change from the team that won at Woking on Tuesday night with Mark Peters replacing the injured Justin Clayton.
Seven minutes in Gary Cohen crossed in to the near post and Drew Roberts flashed his header across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the far post.
A cross-field ball by Godfrey Poku was cut out by Jones, whose header found Alex Rhodes. The former Oxford speedster advanced towards goal before firing a shot wide from 25 yards.
Rhodes and Purcell both had pace that was causing the City defence problems and Rhodes probably should have done better when he got past James Quilter but fired over the bar.
Solomon Shields, still struggling with his hamstring injury, was replaced at half time by Johnson.
The midfielder's first involvement saw him hauled down on the edge of the box by Braintree skipper Goodacre who picked up the first of his yellow cards. From the resulting free kick Ryan Frater fired wildly over the bar.
The second half was even sloppier than the first with neither side offering much of a threat to the goal.
Braintree had a good chance to break the stalemate when Peters miss controlled the ball allowing Purcell to race away towards goal. The former Ebbsfleet man let fly from an acute angle only to see his shot come back off the bar and go out for a throw on the far side.
Braintree enjoyed the better of what chances there were. A foul by Frater on Marks presented The Iron with a free kick 20 yards out. Purcell stepped up and whipped the set play narrowly wide of Bastock's right hand up right.
Such was both teams' lack of threat to goal, it took until the 71st minute for either side to get a shot on target when Purcell fired tamely at Bastock.
The one bit of quality in the whole game gave City the opening goal. Sagna lost control of the ball but Johnson picked up the ball, weaved his way through the opposition defence, before stabbing the ball home.
City went close to doubling their lead from a Roberts' corner. City's top scorer drifted a decent ball into the box which was nodded on at the near post into Sagna's path. The striker tried to walk the ball into the net and although that closed down the opportunity it still required Jones to clear off the line.
Braintree nicked an equaliser five minutes from time with a great goal from Jones. Purcell did well on the left before laying the ball off to Jones who let fly from 25 yards high into the corner of Bastock's net.
Deep into time added on the referee, after a long consultation with his assistant, showed Goodacre a second yellow card for an altercation with Quilter who was booked for his part in the incident.
Shortly afterwards referee Wes Linden blew for full time to take City's unbeaten run to four games.
St Albans City: Bastock; Quilter, Peters, Frater, Smith; Bailey (Sagna 58), Poku, Shields (Johnson 46), O'Donnell, Roberts, Cohen.
Subs: Dedman, Baker, Emery.
Braintree Town: Blackmore; Peters, Bruce, Goodacre, Jones; Starkey (Bruno 80), Mingle, Game, Rhodes (Duncan 90+7) ; Power (Marks 52), Purcell.
Subs: Calliste, McDonald.
Referee: Wes Linden (Northwood)
Man of the Match: Godfrey Poku.