Shootout win for St Albans City in Red Insure Cup

St Albans City needed penalties to finally book a spot in round two of the Red Insure Cup on Wednesday evening at Leighton Town.

The teams were drawing 2-2 after 90 minutes, resulting in a shootout and it was City penalty takers who held their nerve, scoring four to Leighton’s one.

After the game, joint manager James Gray said: “I’m pleased with the outcome. It wasn’t pretty at time but it’s another game and another cup victory.

“The pitch was horrendous – it wasn’t a pitch for playing football – but we won the game with five or six 18-year-olds out there. Tonight gave them a chance to impress.”

With one eye on Saturday’s FA Trophy tie at Witham Town, City fielding a young side made up youth, fringe and returning players.

An Aaron McKee goal was all that separated the teams at half-time, mainly thanks to Tom Coulton in City’s goal denying Leighton time after time.

The second-half continued in the same vein with Leighton pressing and Coulton in form but City levelled the game. From a corner, David Keenleyside smashed the ball into the net from a tight angle.

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Leighton restored their advantage from a corner of their own, Ben Gallant the man on target. But City fought back to level the game and it was substitute Chris Henry that provided the goal.

The score remained the same at the final whistle, taking the game to penalties as there is no extra-time in the Red Insure Cup.

Greg Ngoyi stepped up to give City the advantage but McKee replied for Leighton. Elliot Bailey and Keenleyside scored Saints’ second and third either side of Leighton’s Craig Maisiri hitting the post.

Ryan Wharton, just back from duty with the England five-a-side team in the Minifootball European Championships, made it 4-1 before Coulton saved from Sam Chapman to seal the win.