St Albans City all set for FA Trophy clash with Tonbridge Angels
- Credit: Archant
St Albans City head to Kent to face Tonbridge Angels in the first round proper of the FA Trophy on Saturday.
It will be the second time this season City have faced the Skrill South outfit having knocked them out of the FA Cup at the third round qualifying stage with a 2-1 win at Clarence Park in October.
City are 12 games unbeaten on the road and enjoyed a 3-2 home Calor Southern League Premier Division win over St Neots Town on Saturday.
A weakened Saints side exited the Red Insure Cup on Monday 4-2 to Beaconsfield SYCOB, but boss James Gray says that loss has not hit his side’s confidence.
After the Beaconsfield game, Gray said: “The majority of the boys that weren’t involved tonight will be back in for Saturday and we go there full of confidence and hopefully we can get the job done there. It’s going to be tough.”
Tonbridge will have been boosted by a fine 2-1 away win over then leaders Eastleigh at the weekend, a game which saw Angels’ ex-Saint David Ijaha sent-off after just two minutes.
Gray added: “They have got their tails up after a good result, but we are on the back of a great run.
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“Tonight [Monday] doesn’t really count for us with so many first team players missing so it’s not like we will be going there down after a defeat.”
The Beaconsfield game was a bad night at the office for St Albans.
James McCluskey and Kofi Lockhart-Adams put the visitors 2-0 up before the half-hour mark.
City improved after the break and pulled one back with Chris Henry crossing for Harrison Georgiou who buried a fine volley.
However, the visitors’ two-goal cushion was restored by Jack Hutchinson before they added a fourth as Lockhart-Adams bagged his second of the night.
One of the few pluses for City on the night came as Greg Ngoyi pulled another back, but it was not enough to save City from exiting the competition.
A more impressive display came from a stronger Saints line-up on Saturday as they grabbed a vital three points with a win at St Neots Town.
James Kaloczi snared a brace, the first to give City the lead and the second to equalise, before newly-signed loanee Jamal Lowe kept his cool to score the winner.
Once again it was James Comley who was the centre of everything good that City produced.
The skipper fired in the free-kick for Kaloczi to poke home his first to seal what was a dominant 45 minutes from the visitors.
For all their good play, though, City were pegged back from a controversial decision from the man in the middle, who pointed to the spot, and Jay Davies smashed the penalty just past Paul Bastock’s outstretched arm.
After bringing on Matt Nolan, he and Lewis Hilliard started to cause chaos at the back for City and they took the lead shortly after the restart, Nolan heading into the net.
Joint managers Gray and Graham Golds brought on Ngoyi and Henry and it paid off as City recaptured the momentum and netted their second goal.
Comley pitched a free-kick into the area where Kaloczi looped a header over Nathan Abbey.
Not content with a draw, City poured forward and Comley cut the ball back to Lowe who scored the winner.
St Neots’ frustrations boiled over and Davies was shown a straight red for a scything tackle on Henry.