St Albans City claim bragging rights with Herts Senior Cup win over London Colney

Saints skipper Darren Locke makes a brave block to deny Spencer Clarke-Mardel a last gasp equaliser.

Saints skipper Darren Locke makes a brave block to deny Spencer Clarke-Mardel a last gasp equaliser. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

St Albans City advanced in the Herts Senior Challenge Cup with a 2-1 win over near neighbours London Colney at Clarence Park.

On-loan Stevenage striker Dipo Akinyemi and Matt Ball got the goals that set up a second round trip to Boreham Wood in December.

However, it wasn’t as straight-forward as it sounds against the runaway leaders of the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, who made life interesting late on when substitute Ashley Morrissey pulled one back.

And had the Cotlandswick side put their shooting boots on it may have been different again.

City made 10 changes to the side that beat Truro City on Saturday, with only Tom Bender keeping his starting place.

In came the likes of Oran Swales, Andreas Komodikis and Rhys Hoenes and the three speedsters looked lively early on.

It was Hoenes who provided the through-ball for Akinyemi to open the scoring on 10 minutes, his shot from the edge of the area taking a deflection.

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And Tom Gowans in the Colney goal was the busier of the two keepers, denying Komodikis and Akinyemi.

That said London Colney were arguably the better side in the first period. They had plenty of the ball and only the final delivery let them down.

Dave Parkinson and Archie McClelland linked up well but couldn’t force a shot on goal while Jack Woods and Bender had a fun, personal battle down the City left.

The pattern continued in the second half and first Parkinson and then Spencer Clarke-Mardel could have levelled things up for the Blueboys. Both, however, fired over.

Gowans was still the one keeper forced to make saves and he did so brilliantly to deny Lee Allinson with a free-kick.

Clarke-Mardel couldn’t shift his feet after a ball was drilled in and deflected it wide.

And those misses proved vital as Ball, with the aid of another deflection gave City breathing room.

Clarke-Mardel had a good chance to pull one back before Morrissey did.

And it led to a dramatic conclusion where Parkinson and Clarke-Mardel somehow failed to beat Tom Coulton and a frantic defence from close range.

City: Coulton, Casey, Bender, Hoenes, Locke, Iwediuno, Swales (Simpson 79), Allinson, Akinyemi, Ball, Komodikis (Pope 79)

Subs (not used): Nolan, Chappell, Morias

Goals: Akinyemi 10, Ball 70

London Colney: Gowans, Power, Dudrewec, Douglas, Murphy, Osbourne, Woods (Morrissey 63), Bryon (Kin To 69), McClelland (Clements 63), Clarke-Mardel, Parkinson

Subs (not used): Brennan, Lawrence

Goals: Morrissey 88

Referee: Lee Grimsey

Attendance: 188