Chances at both ends but St Albans City rue missed opportunities against Woking

St Albans City took on Woking in the Vanarama National League South at Clarence Park.

St Albans City took on Woking in the Vanarama National League South at Clarence Park. - Credit: Archant

St Albans City gave second-placed Woking a huge fright as the teams battled to a 1-1 draw at a chilly Clarence Park.

St Albans City took on Woking in the Vanarama National League South at Clarence Park.

St Albans City took on Woking in the Vanarama National League South at Clarence Park. - Credit: Archant

As is so often the case Saints lifted their game against the National League South high flyers and but for a bit of luck in front of goal, they could, and perhaps should, have taken all three points.

That said Woking could have also snatched the win, Greg Luer missing a penalty with 15 minutes to go.

But such was the chances that came the way of the hosts, especially in a frantic finish, it could well be seen as a missed opportunity.

The first half was as even as the 1-1 score suggested.

Neither side really clicked in terms of their passing but that strangely made it an absorbing contest, if a little short on attacking chances.

Saints scored with only their second shot on target while Woking’s was the first heading towards Dean Snedker’s goal.

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The opener came on 31 minutes and split the support down the middle on who actually got it.

It was certainly Zane Banton’s shot, the tricky winger sending an effort towards the far post but whether Moyo got a touch was debatable.

He was credited with the goal though in the ground, although there were even some who thought it may have been Solomon Sambou’s goal.

He had City’s first shot on goal moments before the goal.

Banton, who looked the most likely up front to create something, did superbly well to win the ball back and he laid it into the path of the midfielder in a central position on the edge of the box.

He took a touch but unfortunately hit it low straight down the throat of Craig Ross in the Woking goal.

City’s lead lasted just five minutes and it was a superb strike to bring the Cards level.

Cook took the ball on the turn and fired it low on the half volley into the bottom corner.

Other than that there wasn’t too many other worrying moments for the two keepers.

Khale Da Costa picked up a booking early on after hitting the ground in the box. The referee though was quickly into his pocket for the yellow card, believing it to have been a dive.

A nod down from Tom Bender that was just behind Moyo was really the other chance.

The striker was having a busy day and twice had a chance to put Saints back in front as the second-half got under way.

He flicked a header from a set-piece, crossed in from the left-hand side, wide of Ross but not inside the post, the ball bouncing back off the woodwork.

Moyo got to the rebound too but somehow Woking blocked it, although they didn’t know too much about it.

And City continued to press.

Da Costa opened up the defence after a great cross-field ball, but he blasted over when perhaps a little bit of finesse was needed to guide it into the corner.

He was then muscled out by good defending by Ben Gerring after Sambou whipped in a dangerous cross.

And Saints almost paid for those misses in a tension-filled couple of minutes.

Snedker made a fantastic block as Greg Luer cut inside following a quick attack and from the resulting corner the Saints keeper needed quick reflexes to tip the ball over the top after Gerring had won the header.

The defender then nodded just wide as the pressure was broken.

And with 15 minutes to go, the game exploded into life.

Woking had a glorious opportunity to clinch all three points when a mazy run from Paul Hodges was ended by a push in the back.

Former Stevenage striker didn’t hit the penalty well at all though and a sprawling Snedker was able to kick the ball away.

From there play switched instantly to the other end where Saints had three chances in a minute from a succession of corners.

Moyo and Lewis Knight both had chances deflected inches wide before the charmed Woking goal was saved again by a clearance off the line.

That passage of play together with the penalty save had the home crowd making a noise.

And Knight almost gave them the perfect chance to lift the roof but his shot, unmarked at the back post, was cleared again from under the bar.

It proved to be the final chance of the afternoon and it leaves Saints still outside the play-off places, but only by a point.

St Albans City: Snedker, McLeod-Urquhart, Bender, Clark, Knight, Diedhiou, Wyatt (Sanderson 90+2), Sambou, Da Costa, Moyo, Banton.

Subs (not used): Kiangebeni, Gardiner-Smith, Bonfield

Goal: Moyo 31

Booked: Da Costa 14, Bender 56, Sambou 74

Woking: Ross, Collier, Casey, Cook, Gerring, Jolley, Taylor, Little, Hyde (Luer 19), Bradbury, Wheeler (Hodges 63).

Subs: Gayle, Spence, Dunn.

Goal: Cook 36

Booked: Cook 84

HT: St Albans City 1 Woking 1

Attendance: 1,017

Referee: Matthew Russell (Portsmouth)