Shulton hoping FA Cup battle signals a reset for City’s year
- Credit: Danny Loo/TGS Photo
They needed a replay but St Albans City finally saw off the challenge of Isthmian League Premier Division Worthing in the FA Cup with a 3-1 win on the south coast – and for midfielder Scott Shulton the two games proved a watershed moment in his season.
A troublesome foot injury in pre-season had kept the 29-year-old out for a number of weeks.
Saturday's 2-2 draw, a game which saw Worthing snatch a draw in the sixth minute of stoppage time, was his first 90 minutes since April 6 against Chelmsford.
And he led from the front in the replay, his voice heard time and time again at Woodside Road keeping his troops in check.
He said: "I've always been a player who will organise the players in front of me as it makes my job easier.
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"I've just come in to do a job. This is only my second game this season and I haven't played 90 minutes since April so for me to get back-to-back 90s I'm pleased.
"There's no pain too.
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"It was the first time I've played with David Noble and I've really been looking forward to playing with him. Even in pre-season we've never played with each other so it was good.
"And there were other boys who haven't played for a long time and it is important we got through it.
"We flagged a little bit at the end but that's only natural."
The Mackerel Men had pushed City back in the opening exchanges, even hitting the post, but three goals in 14 first-half minutes from Noble, Joe Iaciofano and Solomon Nwabuokei ensured safe passage and a clash away to fellow National League South side Weymouth in the third qualifying round.
The goals gave a noticeable lift in confidence too, with the Saints looking in positive mood every time they went forward in the second half.
Shulton believes while the match was not wanted, it may yet prove to be a godsend.
He said: "We knew they would start brightly at home and we rode the storm in the first 10 minutes and then hit them with three quick goals so we're very pleased.
"Conceding late on Saturday and then to have to come here on a Tuesday night, we were all gutted.
"Nobody wanted that to happen but you've got to pick yourself up. That's football and we've come here and done the job.
"Hopefully we can start picking up momentum going forward."