Saints keep the pressure on at top of Premier Division with double-header success

Tariq Marcano scored one against Letchworth on Saturday and added another on Sunday at Chelmsford. P

Tariq Marcano scored one against Letchworth on Saturday and added another on Sunday at Chelmsford. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

Another double header of matches ended with two superb wins from St Albans’ men.

The Oaklands College-based hockey club were held to two draws last week but returned to winning ways in the East League Premier Division starting with a 5-0 demolition of Hertfordshire rivals Letchworth on Saturday.

Steve McManus was the star of the show with a hat-trick while Tariq Marcano and Matt Davey chipped in with the others.

Saints made the running throughout against a Letchworth side struggling with injuries.

Davey opened the scoring from a short corner before McManus got his account started with a neat finish following good work from Ben Apperly.

He was on the scoresheet again shortly before half-time, turning the ball home from short range, and despite a spirited response from a Letchworth side that battled hard throughout, the Tangerines added two more goals.

Top scorer Tariq Marcano got the first with a drag flick under the keeper before McManus completed his hat-trick with another close range effort.

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They followed that up with a 2-1 success at mid-table Chelmsford on Sunday having raced into a 2-0 lead by the break.

Marcano was on target once more, slamming home a strike from the top of the circle before Jakob Plant neatly finished off a flowing team move.

St Albans enjoyed the lion share of possession in the second half as well and created a number of half chances, but were unable to make any further impression on the score. And Chelmsford, who rarely threatened throughout, managed a consolation from a short corner with the last play of the match.

Saints are now second just one point behind City of Peterborough with four games to go. But it wasn’t just the young guns impressing at the weekend either as the men’s over-50 side won 4-0 in the National Tier Two Cup quarter-finals at home to Harleston Magpies.

Robin Mobbs deservedly put them in front from a short corner before Malcolm Emmerson coolly slotted a penalty flick before half-time.

Andy Cox pulled off a scintillating and acrobatic double save to ensure a clean sheet before JP Vincent volleyed in Ben Turner’s reverse hit shot.

The icing on the cake was provided by Steve Warr.