New attack force fires the Saints to three points

Jamal Lowe brushes of the Concord defence as he breaks into the box. Picture: Leigh Page

Jamal Lowe brushes of the Concord defence as he breaks into the box. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

St Albans City’s new-look front line saw them to a 2-0 win over Concord Rangers in the Vanarama Conference South.

John Frendo started in the middle of a front three with new signings Michael Malcolm and Jamal Lowe either side of him. Malcolm scored his debut goal in the 13th minute and, after Lowe won a penalty, Frendo scored from the spot to give the Saints a 2-0 lead which they would not relinquish.

It was St Albans’ second win in three league games and saw them jump up to 10th in the league.

It was a commanding performance from City, who had the ball in the net as early as the eighth minute but the assistant’s flag ruled out Malcolm’s diving header. Four minutes later, the 13th, Malcolm, who signed for the Saints on Friday, did open his account on his debut. James Kaloczi won the ball at midfield and John Frendo played in Malcolm, who had timed his run perfectly. With just the Josh Vickers to beat, the former Spurs youngster tucked the ball between the on-loan Arsenal goalkeeper’s legs.

City’s front three was looking dangerous, and in the 32nd minute it produced its second goal. Malcolm beat the offside trap down the right and played the ball into the box where Lowe nipped in front of Matt Fry and was bought down for a penalty. Frendo sent Vickers the wrong way to double the lead.

Concord worked their way into good postions but failed to test Joe Welch, returning to the team for the first time since the new year, in the first-half. He denied Lewis Taaffe with his legs but most of his work came from crosses, which he easily plucked out of the air.

The second half hit a lull until the 67th minute when a miss-timed header from Sam Collins saw him bundle Frendo over and the referee point to the spot. Frendo went the opposite way to his earlier penalty but so did Vickers who saved and then denied the follow up shot. Concord broke in numbers and should have scored but Collins headed over.

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Joint managers James Gray and Graham Golds brought on James Comley for his first action for two weeks and gave Manny Soetan his debut. Comley, who had been slowed by a hamstring injury, looked his usual calm, cool self while Soetan, playing on the left wing, challenged the full-back and forced Vickers into a save, although he could have done better after cutting in onto his right foot.

Charlie Smith made a six-minute cameo, replacing the excellent Sam Corcoran, and should have scored as St Albans went in search of a third but Vickers made a string of saves. In the end, City saw out a fairly comfortable 2-0 win and avenged their FA Cup exit at the hands of Danny Cowley’s Rangers.


St Albans City starting line-up: Welch, Hall, Chappell, Beckles, Locke, Gayle, Kaloczi (Comley 71), Corcoran (Smith 84), Frendo, Malcolm (Soetan 71), Lowe. Subs: Wales, Keenleyside.

Concord Rangers starting line-up: Vickers, Walker, Glozier (Pinnock 49), Woodyard, Lampe, Fry, Gardner (Miles 67), White, Taaffe, Collins, Crawley (Stokes 67). Subs: King, Ogilvie, Miles.

Attendance: 543