Oxford City 0 St Albans City 0

Michael Johnson of St Albans City (pic Danny Loo)

Michael Johnson of St Albans City (pic Danny Loo) - Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO

St Albans City extended their unbeaten start to the 2020-21 National League South season to 10 games after a 0-0 draw at Oxford City in midweek.

Manager Ian Allinson was forced into one change when 21-year-old defender Joy Mukena was ruled out with an injury, with Luke Warner-Eley coming into the side to allow captain Tom Bender to fill in at centre-back.

Saints created the first opening just seven minutes in as Mitchell Weiss burst through several tackles and let fly, but dragged his effort wide of the far post.

City, who went into the game on the back of an emphatic 4-1 win against Hungerford Town, saw on-loan defender Ben Gerring head over the bar after jumping highest to meet Josh Ashby’s corner.

But both sides failed to impose themselves in the opening half an hour, although former Saint Elliot Benyon had the first attempt on target when he lined up a drive from the edge of the box that was straight at Michael Johnson.

Chances proved to be few and far between as the half wore on, with both defences looking well drilled.

Weiss did well to burst into space down the right, but his low cross skipped past the onrushing Shaun Jeffers and into the arms of home keeper Ben Dudzinski.

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The second half followed a similar pattern, with defences continuing to dominate, as Nwabuokei’s ambitious drive from range on 57 minutes sailed well over before the game started to open up.

With 20 minutes left Saints enjoyed a good spell of pressure with a succession of corners but efforts from Tom Bender and James Kaloczi were blocked by some last-ditch defending.

Johnson, who had enjoyed a quiet evening, was forced into a save at full-stretch from substitute Nana Owusu’s rifled strike, while Warner-Eley looked to test Dudzinski with a free-kick from 20 yards after former Oxford City man Kyran Wiltshire was brought down but his left-footed set-piece sailed into the arms of the keeper.

With just a couple of minutes of regular time left the final chance fell to Oxford’s Josh Ashby, but Johnson was equal to it as he tipped the attempt from range wide, ensuring Saints secured a fifth clean sheet on the bounce.

St Albans are back in action at Clarence Park on Saturday when they host Tonbridge Angels.

City: Johnson; Bender; Wiltshire; Kaloczi; Clark; Nwabuokei; Jeffers (Chidyausiku 92); Banton (Stanley 90); Weiss (Noble 77); Sundire; Warner-Eley. Unused subs: Onokwai; Diedhiou.