Morgan proves Saints’ nemesis once more

Former City man comes off the bench to inspire Stortford

St Albans City 1 (Deeney 18)

Bishop’s Stortford 4 (Shulton 30, D Morgan 75, Jackman 83, Vernazza 88)

FOR the second season running Danny Morgan inspired Bishop’s Stortford to victory over St Albans City in the Hertfordshire derby at Clarence Park.

Last season Morgan plundered two goals as Stortford won 4-2 at the Park and while this time round the former City striker had to make do with a cameo from the bench his impact was just as important.

Having fallen behind to David Deeney’s first goal for City, Stortford regrouped and had drawn level by half time courtesy of Scott Shulton’s well placed shot.

City enjoyed the majority of possession throughout the contest but when Morgan pounced on Ryan Frater’s loose backpass and rolled the ball past Paul Bastock there was only going to be one winner and Duane Jackman and Paolo Vernazza grabbed late goals to give Stortford an emphatic victory.

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Saints boss Steve Castle had given a first start to Spanish striker Pelayo Gomez in place of the suspended Adam Everitt and welcomed Ben Martin back to the bench but former Bishop’s Stortford winger Hassan Sulaiman failed to recover from injury in time.

City started well and took a deserved lead in the 18th minute. James Fisher, who was deployed at right-back, fed the ball into Deeney who quickly shifted the ball onto his right foot and rifled home from the edge of the area. It was a spectacular way for Deeney to open his account for the club and gave City the start they wanted.

Drew Roberts had the opportunity to double City’s lead when he collected Fisher’s pass, spun and shot from the edge of the box but the striker didn’t connect cleanly and Bert Greenwood was able to make a comfortable save.

Just as City looked to be getting on top of their opponents Stortford drew level. Shulton played the ball up to Jackman who headed the ball back into Shulton’s path and the midfielder was allowed to stride into the box and place the ball inside Bastock’s far post.

Shulton began to become more influential in the game and he went close to doubling his and Stortford’s tally with a long range effort that was deflected just over the bar.

Gomez had two chances to restore City’s lead before the interval but he was unable to find a way past Greenwood.

The first saw Deeney pick out the Spaniard in acres of space inside the Stortford box but the striker had too much time on his hands and blazed over the bar.

The on-loan Brentford man went a lot closer just seconds later turning his man brilliantly on the edge of the box but young goalkeeper Greenwood got down well to save at the foot of his right hand post.

The second half was a truly drab affair with neither side creating a chance of note until Morgan’s introduction after an hour.

The powerful striker was involved instantly latching onto Shulton’s through ball but this time he was off target and fired wide of the goal.

There was to be no mistake the second time though. A backpass from Frater didn’t have enough power to reach Bastock and Morgan reacted quickest, nipping in and rounding the stranded goalkeeper before rolling the ball into the empty net.

It was the start of a major collapse from City whose defence was unable to cope with the movement of the visiting attackers.

With seven minutes to go Stortford put the game to bed thanks to Jackman’s excellent header.

Former Arsenal man Vernazza picked up the ball out on the right flank before delivering a pin-point cross to Jackman on the edge of the area and the striker adjusted magnificently to direct his looping header into the corner of the net.

With City pushing for goals, Castle had introduced Ben Martin in defence to allow Mark Peters to join the attack. The big defender, however, looked well short of match sharpness and was caught out in the build up to Stortford’s fourth.

The former captain lost possession midway inside the City half which allowed Morgan to race away on the left and his low cross into the middle was bundled home by Vernazza to seal a truly miserable afternoon for the Saints.

City: Bastock; Deeney, Frater �, Peters, Smith; R Martin, A Martin (Dedman 64), Fisher, Roberts; Sigere (Shields 71), Gomez (B Martin 76).

Sub not used: Kweme.

Stortford: Greenwood; M Jones �, Duncan, Angus, Palmer; Ming, Shulton (Llewellyn 84), Vernazza, Prestedge (Bowditch 74); Arthur (D Morgan 60), Jackman.

Subs not used: R Jones, Mason.

Referee: Paul Harris (Maidstone)

Att: 354