National South: Superb second-half fightback from St Albans City at Chelmsford thanks to four-star Ralston Gabriel
- Credit: Archant
Ralston Gabriel stole the show with four goals as St Albans City came from behind in an incredible game at Chelmsford City – although it needed a stiff half-time team-talk from manager Ian Allinson to do so.
Trailing 2-0 at half-time after early strikes by Amos Nasha and Rhys Murphy, City’s new hotshot hero banged in two penalties in the first seven minutes after the break to level things up.
And he completed his perfect day with two more in the next 15 minutes to make it four wins on the bounce for a resurgent Saints side.
But while the boss was delighted with three more points, he was also very much relieved considering the start.
He said: “Obviously it’s fantastic but as I’ve said we can’t afford to give teams a two-goal start and that’s the disappointment.
“We never got to grips with the game in the first half an hour.
“We expected a backlash from their defeat to Worthing in the FA Cup but we haven’t listened in the changing room and the players haven’t taken on board what to expect.
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“We got back into the game in the last 15 minutes of the half but it took us to half-time until we could get things correct and play the way we wanted to.
“Second half we did it and it was fantastic.
“They did the jobs they were asked to do and we looked a very good side.”
Allinson heaped praise on his back three and goalkeeper Dean Snedker as well as Gabriel’s strike partner Khale Da Costa who he described as “excellent”.
But unsurprisingly it was Gabriel, who now has nine goals to his name, who got the main share of the plaudits.
He said: “He went through a phase where he looked a little tired but he’s had a tough start.
“He’d been playing two leagues below but has come into the National South and took it by storm.
“He got his first five goals in the first six games and was on fire for us.
“But he started to look a little tired and so we left him out and he had a nice little break.
“He looked on fire in training on Thursday and it was fantastic for him to get his goals.
“He took his two penalties really well, we’ve never really seen him take them and the usual takers weren’t on the pitch.
“But he grabbed it and obviously was very good with how he put them away and it settled us down completely.
“And then we had that 15-minute spell where I thought we were outstanding.”