Solomon Sambou’s double against Weston-super-Mare keeps St Albans City in play-off hunt

Solomon Sambou in action against Dulwich Hamlet. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Solomon Sambou in action against Dulwich Hamlet. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

Two goals from Solomon Sambou handed St Albans City another vital success with a 2-0 win at home to Weston-super-Mare.

Both came in a vastly-improved second half from the Saints and keeps them on the outskirts of the play-off places.

More wins are what manager Ian Allinson has targeted, and this adds to Saturday’s victory over Dulwich Hamlet, but the clean sheet will be just as pleasing for City who are now ninth in the National League South and five points behind Billericay in the final play-off spot.

The goals though were desperately needed after a dull opening 45 minutes.

Just like City, Weston also need to start winning and quickly although for entirely different reasons.

But the first half saw two teams that were almost frightened to lose.

There was patient build-up and probing football from the hosts but none of it was in a dangerous area and the Seagulls looked happy to keep them at arms length.

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Saints did create a couple of shooting chances, Sam Merson having two of them and Khale Da Costa the same.

Both of the winger’s efforts saw him cut inside, with one going straight at Luke Purnell and the other looping over the top.

Both of them though had his gaffer hopping mad as he wanted the wide man to go outside and fire a low shot across goal.

Weston did have a little spell of their own which pinned the hosts deep inside their own half.

One run from Marlon Jackson took him to the edge of the box where a Zane Banton tug of the shirt earned him a booking.

The set-piece, however, was fired straight at the wall.

Dean Snedker was called into action just the once though in that spell, holding onto a Jake Lee header that was straight at him.

The sparse crowd on a chilly night greeted the half-time whistle with barely a murmur, most having headed to the warmth of the bar.

But if the majority of the 341-strong attendance were hoping for better fare in the second period they would have been relatively pleased.

They saw two goals for a start off.

Sambou’s first saw him win the ball high up the pitch before his shot took a deflection off the back of Zane Banton on its way in from 25 yards.

It certainly took plenty inside Clarence Park by surprise before nestling in the left corner of Purnell’s net.

The second though was the crucial strike, coming during a period of pressure that had the relegation-threatened side rocking.

And it will be arguably one of the goals of the season.

It saw plenty of one-touch passes with Banton and Sambou heavily involved and it was the latter that swept it home from the left side of the six-yard box after a very clever flick and turn.

There were other chances but Saints will not be too upset that none of them were clear enough to bring more goals.

For now winning is the only things that matters and City are starting to look like they’ve got the taste for it.

Chippenham Town away on Saturday will be a big clue as to how this season will pan out.

St Albans City: Snedker, Herd, Bender, Diedhiou, Knight, Wyatt, Da Costa (Sole 90+1), Sambou, Merson (Ewington 86), Moyo, Banton.

Subs (not used): Clark, McLeod-Urquart, Bonfield.

Goals: Sambou 57, 67

Booked: Banton 14, Diedhiou 55

Weston-super-Mare: Purnell, Parsons, Byrne, Lee, Harrison, Bower, Lucas, Diallo, Jackson, Myrie-Williams (Welch 28), Nurse (Hill 73)

Subs (not used): Harper, Llewellyn, Cane.

Booked: Byrne 64

HT: St Albans City 0 Weston-super-Mare 0.

Attendance: 341

Referee: Alex Blake (Waterlooville)