St Albans City crash out of FA Cup to Lowestoft Town

ST Albans City’s hopes of an extended FA Cup run came to an end on Saturday as they were knocked out of the competiton following a tight game with Lowestoft Town at Clarence Park.

The third qualifying round tie ended 1-0 to the Trawlerboys after Joe Francis netted the only goal of the game in the 59th minute.

It was an especially disappointing result for The Saints considering they also exited the FA Trophy the week before to Arlesey Town.

On Saturday, there were plenty of first half chances with Chris Henderson going wide for the Ryman League Premier Division side and Lewis Toomey shooting just over for the hosts in the opening exchanges.

City went close as David Ijaha collected a short pass from Micah Hyde and let fly from outside of the box but a diving Jake Jessop palmed his shot away.

The hosts came within inches of taking a first half lead as Lewis Toomey turned his man inside the box and rattled a right footed effort against the crossbar.

Just before the break Town could have nicked the lead, but Francis fired off target.

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At the start of the second half Henderson twice failed to score when well placed, firstly heading tamely at City stopper Nick Jupp and secondly firing over from close range.

Lowestoft then went ahead as Dan Gleeson’s cross from the right was controlled by Francis before he guided a left footed strike into the left side of Jupp’s goal.

City fought to try to get back on level terms.

Richard Graham played a short corner to Barry Hayles, on receiving the ball back Graham’s cross-shot was palmed away by Jessop to Shields, he twisted and turned his man to the right of goal before having a shot beaten away again by Jessop.

The home side were left further frustrated as Ryan Watts appeared to be fouled in the Lowestoft area, but the referee ignored the penalty appeal.

Despite their efforts David Howell’s men could not restore parity and exited the competition.

Lowestoft were drawn away to Braintree Town in the fourth round qualifying.

St Albans are back in Evo-Stik League action tomorrow (Tuesday) night as they host their FA Trophy conquerors Arlesey Town, before entertaining Barwell on Saturday.