National South: Superb second-half fightback from St Albans City at Chelmsford thanks to four-star Ralston Gabriel

Ralston Gabriel gets the Saints back into the game at the start of the second half from the penalty

Ralston Gabriel gets the Saints back into the game at the start of the second half from the penalty spot. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - 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.

Khale Da Costa tries his luck from the edge of the box. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Khale Da Costa tries his luck from the edge of the box. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

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.

Solomon Sambou is brought crashing to ground to earn St Albans City their second penalty. Picture: L

Solomon Sambou is brought crashing to ground to earn St Albans City their second penalty. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

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.

Ralston Gabriel strikes home his second penalty to bring the score level. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Ralston Gabriel strikes home his second penalty to bring the score level. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

But while the boss was delighted with three more points, he was also very much relieved considering the start.

St Albans City celebrate the equaliser. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

St Albans City celebrate the equaliser. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

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.

St Albans City warmed up for their FA Cup tie with Corinthian Casuals with a fine win against Chelms

St Albans City warmed up for their FA Cup tie with Corinthian Casuals with a fine win against Chelmsford City. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


“We never got to grips with the game in the first half an hour.

Khale Da Costa shoots at goal. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Khale Da Costa shoots at goal. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

“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.

Solomon Sambou in action against Chelmsford City. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Solomon Sambou in action against Chelmsford City. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

Most Read

“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.

Ben Herd guides the ball past the advancing Chelmsford keeper. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Ben Herd guides the ball past the advancing Chelmsford keeper. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

“Second half we did it and it was fantastic.

Ralston Gabriel celebrates another goal. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Ralston Gabriel celebrates another goal. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

“They did the jobs they were asked to do and we looked a very good side.”

Ralston Gabriel makes it 4-2 for St Albans City.

Ralston Gabriel makes it 4-2 for St Albans City. - Credit: Archant

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”.

Ralston Gabriel celebrates securing the three points for the Saints. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Ralston Gabriel celebrates securing the three points for the Saints. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

But unsurprisingly it was Gabriel, who now has nine goals to his name, who got the main share of the plaudits.

Clovis Kamdjo is brought crashing to earth. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Clovis Kamdjo is brought crashing to earth. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

He said: “He went through a phase where he looked a little tired but he’s had a tough start.

Ralston Gabriel takes on the Chelmsford defence. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Ralston Gabriel takes on the Chelmsford defence. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

“He’d been playing two leagues below but has come into the National South and took it by storm.

Clovis Kamdjo dominating in the air. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Clovis Kamdjo dominating in the air. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

“He got his first five goals in the first six games and was on fire for us.

Ralston Gabriel celebrates scoring his first of the game. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Ralston Gabriel celebrates scoring his first of the game. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

“But he started to look a little tired and so we left him out and he had a nice little break.

Ralston Gabriel was in fine form for St Albans City against Chelmsford with four goals. Picture: LEI

Ralston Gabriel was in fine form for St Albans City against Chelmsford with four goals. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

“He looked on fire in training on Thursday and it was fantastic for him to get his goals.

Solomon Sambou celebrates with Ralston Gabriel following the Saints third goal of the game. Picture:

Solomon Sambou celebrates with Ralston Gabriel following the Saints third goal of the game. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

“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.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter