Shakes and Morias down wasteful Saints

John Frendo and ex-team-mate Ben Martin challenge for the ball. Picture: Bob Walkley

John Frendo and ex-team-mate Ben Martin challenge for the ball. Picture: Bob Walkley - Credit: Archant

Vanarama Conference South league leaders Boreham Wood scored very early and very late as they beat St Albans City 2-0 at Clarence Park.

The two goals were the only real chances Wood mustered in a game where the Saints carried the bigger threat, especially in the second half when John Frendo and Cameron Lancaster were introduced to the fray in the 50th minute. Ricky Shakes scored in the third minute and, despite City looking the more likely in the second half, Junior Morias netted in injury-time to seal the win.

St Albans named an unchanged side to the one that shocked Gosport Borough 2-1 last Sunday. There were places on the bench for Frendo and Lancaster as they work their way back from injury.

The Saints had a dire start to the game as Shakes gave Boreham Wood a third-minute lead. Morias was given time to deliver a cross and Shakes beat Tom Coulton, starting his third consecutive game for the injured Joe Welch, to his near post.

The rest of the first-half was a scrappy affair with neither side threatening to score. Steve Wales and Elliot Bailey had the best of the Saints’ chances in the first 45 minutes but the former’s first touch let him down when through on goal and the latter was denied by excellent cover defending from Sam Cox.

Joint managers James Gray and Graham Golds were forced into an early substitution after Danny Green went down clutching his hamstring. Charlie Smith, who rejoined the club on loan from Luton Town this week, replaced him. The managers didn’t wait long into the second half to ring more changes as they brought on strikers Frendo and Lancaster, for Bailey and Charlie Gorman.

St Albans carried the greater threat their introduction with the front four of Frendo, Lancaster, Wales and Smith looking dangerous. The best chance, yet again, fell to Wales but Russell saved with his legs.

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Smith stung the goalkeeper’s hands with a fierce drive from all of 30 yards as City went in search of a leveller and Frendo burst into the box in the 80th minute but the ball didn’t sit down for him to get off a shot. He then went down after a push in the back but the referee waved play on.

Despite the pressure, there was to be no fairy-tale ending as Junior Morias, who was excellent throughout, received a smart pass from Lee Angol and wrapped up three points with a powerful finish.

St Albans City starting line-up: Coulton, Hall, Chappell, Gorman, Locke, Gayle, Beckles, Corcoran, Bailey, Wales, D Green. Subs: Frendo, Lancaster, Smith, Keenleyside, J Green.

Boreham Wood line-up: Russell, Garrard, Brown, Cox, Martin, Reynolds, Thomas, Shakes, Angol, Morias, Montgomery. Subs: Toomey, Hill, Whichelow, Noto, Courtnage.

Attendance: 803