Shields on target as St Albans City hold Brackley Town

City pick up another point

Southern Premier Division

St Albans City 1 Brackley Town 1

SEAN Shields netted his fourth goal of the campaign as St Albans City’s upturn in fortunes continued with a point against high-flying Brackley Town.

The Saints, buoyed by last week’s 4-1 win over Evesham United, made the perfect start with Shields scoring after just two minutes.

Danny Hart, recalled to the starting XI in place of the injured Nathan Ralph, broke down the left wing and delivered a ball that escaped the attention of everyone in the goalmouth and fell to Shields at the far post. The tricky winger dispatched a shot through a sea of legs and inside the far post of Billy Turley’s goal.

It was just the start City needed against a side who came into the game having won their last four league games. Unfortunately for David Howell’s team they relinquished their lead just four minutes later as the visitors took advantage of some slack marking which saw Josh Green head home Owen Story’s corner.

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Another Story corner resulted in Tom Kemp heading home only for the goal to be ruled out for a foul.

That Brackley didn’t net a second goal was mainly down to the Man of the Match display of Nick Jupp.

The ‘keeper pulled off a very good save to stop journeyman striker Jefferson Louis from handing Brackley a half-time lead and continued his heroics after the interval denying Steve Diggin from close range.

Louis looked most likely to find a winner for Jon Brady’s visitors, seeing an effort blocked by Ryan Moran and another kept out by a splendid save from Jupp but it was St Albans who finished the match the stronger.

Substitute Jerome Walker got clear of his man down the left wing and crossed for fellow replacement Sakho Bakare. The Frenchman, never afraid to try the spectacular, executed a goalbound overhead kick that was cleared to the edge of the area by the boot of goalkeeper Turley and seized upon by David Ijaha. The City midfielder was bought down right on the edge of the penalty area but Mo Shariff blasted the free kick out of the ground.

There was still one last chance for City to snatch victory when Ryan Watts picked out Walker but his header into the ground was gathered on the rise by Turley to ensure the points were shared.

City: Jupp; Harriman, Moran, Cutchey, Watts; Sean Shields, Ijaha, O’Leary, Hart (Walker 72); Furlong � (Bakare 89), Shariff.

Subs not used: Haworth, Matthews, Jinadu.

Brackley: Turley; Clifton, Green, Kemp, Jaszczun; Story, Palmer, Solkhon �, Winters; Louis, Diggin (Sandy 80).

Subs not used: Myles, Pook, Chennels, Wilmott.eferee: Chris O’Donnell (Leighton Buzzard)

Att: 377.