Out of form Saints beaten by second bottom Stortford

Shaun Lucien

Shaun Lucien - Credit: Archant

St Albans City fell to a 1-0 National League South home defeat to second bottom Bishop’s Stortford this afternoon (Saturday).

The Saints, now seven games without victory, had not switched on at the start of the second half when just 36 seconds in Luke Callander carried the ball forward and fed Sam Ford to blast home the game’s only goal.

It was a desperately disappointing result for eighth in the table Saints who had played some decent football at times, but failed to take chances created.

Ahead of the clash Saints boss Ian Allinson had signed Ipswich Town defender Joe Robinson on a month’s loan and he started the encounter.

Within five minutes from kick-off a lunging challenge from visiting left-back Adam Everitt on Charlie Walker had the Saints bench screaming for a red card, however only a yellow was given.

Saints forced three corners in quick succession; the first saw David Noble pull his set-piece back to the edge of the box for Sam Corcoran who saw his looping goalbound effort cleared.

Striker Jamie Cureton had a volley deflected wide soon after that for another corner.

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This time Noble’s ball caused havoc with Tom Gardiner’s effort blocked on the line before he collected the rebound and having his second goal bound attempt also cleared.

Chances kept coming for the hosts as Walker then tested keeper Richard Walton from 25 yards, but the stopper held on.

On 25 minutes, during a rare attack, Stortford had the ball in the net through Callander, who was rightly given offside.

A golden chance at both ends came before the break.

Firstly Ford kept the ball well on the right before feeding Aaron Green who dragged wide from the edge of the box.

Saints then hit the bar through Robinson in the closing stages as the half ended goalless.

Just seconds into the re-start though the game’s only goal came as Ford was given far too much space and he fired past home keeper James Russell.

For all their possession that followed, St Albans never really looked like get the equaliser.

They forced a couple of corners soon after the goal, but never troubled keeper Walton.

Cureton chipped just wide on the hour mark, before Walker curled well off target having been set-up by Cureton.

Allinson used three attacking substitutes to try to find the leveller with Louie Theophanous, Shaun Lucien and Sam Merson all introduced.

When Cureton was felled on the edge of the box with seven minutes left, Lucien stepped up and his free-kick looked destined for the back of the net until Walton pulled off a fine diving save.

No late surge of chances came for Saints as they fell to another sorry defeat.

Next up on Saturday is the visit of league leaders Ebbsfleet United.

St Albans: Russell, Casey, Robinson, Chappell (c), Gardiner, Saville (Lucien 55), Cureton, Thomas, Corcoran (Theophanous 55), Walker (Merson 75), Noble.

Subs: Martin, Kerr.