Merson sends Clarence Park into raptures with late, late winner for St Albans City against Havant & Waterlooville

Sam Merson is unable to direct his header on goal. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Sam Merson is unable to direct his header on goal. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

Sam Merson struck in the third minute of added time to send Clarence Park into raptures and give St Albans City a 2-1 win over Havant & Waterlooville.

Charlie Walker had deflected in the opening goal for City on 15 minutes only for Bradley Tarbuck to level midway through the second half,

But with time running out and the game seemingly heading towards a draw, Merson got out the end of Rhys Murrell-Williamson’s knock-down and slammed home from close range.

Havant had been on top in the second half and possibly deserved a draw but City were on top in the first half and they will be delighted with the result, which ends a run of three games without a win.

The opening goal when it came appeared from the main stand to have been all about Shaun Lucien.

He had already tricked his way into a shooting position earlier on before he again cut in from the left.

His shot curled round and into the far side of the net but it then came a shout from the bench that Walker had gone the last touch and deflected it in.

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It was no more than City deserved with Solomon Sambou looking sharp in the midfield and Lucien causing havoc down the wing.

And he should have made it two when Walker slipped him with a clever back heel.

But his chip over Ryan Young only found the side of the net.

Havant though grew into the game the longer the half went on and only a fine block from Tom Gardiner and subsequent save by Dean Snedker kept the visitors from drawing level.

And the south coast side kept pressing in the second half with Jason Prior having the best chance, going round Snedker.

But unfortunately for him he found Harold Joseph too big to bypass, the defender making a fine block.

However, the persistent rain falling played its part in Havant finally finding a way through.

A cross from the left skidded first off the surface and then Snedker.

And it ran to Tarbuck who couldn’t miss from seven yards.

From there chances were limited but there was still time for the late drama.

St Albans: Snedker, Herd, Bender, Noble (Kiangebeni 82), Gardiner, Joseph, Lucien, Sambou, Walker (Merson 72), Monlouis (Murrell-Williamson 84), Banton

Subs (not used): Adeloye, Eadie

Goals: Walker 15, Merson 90+3

Havant: Young, Williams, Stock, Woodford, Harris, Fogden, Prior, Tarbuck, Carter, Molyneaux (Rutherford 61), Widdrington (Lewis 80)

Subs (not used): Tubbs, Hayter, Barker

Goals: Tarbuck 67

HT: St Albans City 1 Havant & Waterlooville 0

Attendance: 403

Referee: Ben Cooke (Queens Park)