Point for new St Albans City boss Allinson against Concord Rangers
- Credit: Archant
New St Albans City boss Ian Allinson began life at Clarence Park with a disappointing 2-2 draw against Concord Rangers having seen his side two ahead with 11 minutes to play.
The point lifted Saints off the bottom of the table to 21st after Basingstoke Town sunk to the foot of the standings by losing 2-1 at Margate.
Things had seemed to be going so well for City when Edward Oshodi netted the opener in the first half and Michael Thalassitis doubled the advantage on 52 minutes.
However, Steve Cawley’s header pulled one back and substitute Sam Bantick levelled in the 89th minute to secure Rangers a share of the points.
City kicked-off, but it was the visitors who came within a whisker from opening the scoring in the first minute as Lewis Taaffe’s whipped cross only just missed the head of Alex Osborn.
The home side gave a debut to Charlton Athletic youngster Josh Staunton, and the centre-half was alert in the ninth minute to make a timely challenge to halt Ben Greenhalgh who was bearing down on Joe Welch’s goal.
The wet conditions made things tough and Lee Chappell was first to go in the referee’s notebook for a foul, before Tom Bender and Al Bangura also had their names taken.
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Rangers were on the front foot, however City went ahead against the run of play on the half-hour mark.
A long Chappell throw-in from the right flank was flicked on by Thalassitis, the ball dropped to Oshodi who used his strength to hold off his man, turn and fire in to the delight of the home support.
The goal spurred on the hosts and three minutes later Theophanous’ shot was diverted goalwards by skipper Sam Corcoran but visiting keeper Ben McNamara saved well.
Just before the break City keeper Welch ensured his side kept their noses in front as he dived low to his right to turn behind Cawley’s drive behind.
There was a let-off for St Albans at the start of the second period as Taaffe skied a central 25 yard free-kick.
However, Saints doubled their advantage on 52 minutes as former Stevenage man Thalassitis’s fine finish following Charlie MacDonald’s through-ball found the bottom corner.
Most of Clarence Park was celebrating a third soon after when Theophanous slammed home from close range only for the referee to pull play back for an earlier handball after the ball was kicked up at him by Jay Dowie.
Concord remained a threat and Welch did well to thwart Bantick’s effort following a deep Greenhalgh cross.
City had a great chance for a third as Charlie MacDonald and Corcoran broke free with just one defender for company.
MacDonald squared to Corcoran, but he had strayed offside before converting.
That was to prove costly as firstly Cawley beat Welch to White’s ball into the box and flicked a header in.
The nerves then set in for Saints as they tried to hold out for the win.
But in the 89th minute substitute Bantick secured his side a point as he tapped home on the line after Cawley had lifted the ball over Welch with the ball going in anyway.
The goal ruined Allinson’s first game at the helm, however a point gives him something to build on as his side sit four points from safety.
Next up for City is a trip to league leaders Ebbsfleet United on Tuesday.