National South: St Albans City’s turn to be the victims of a late goal as Truro City celebrate return home
- Credit: Archant
St Albans City were hit with a dose of their own medicine as a goal two minutes into stoppage time handed Truro City a 2-1 win at Treyew Road.
Saints had put together an impressive run of results over the last few National south games, with a number of them involving goals deep into the contests.
But with a hard-earned point within grasp Louis Rooney was able to find a gap beyond Dean Snedker to send the small but noisy travelling Saints fans home with a dollop of bitter disappointment.
That band of supporters will point to the award of a controversial penalty that had cancelled out Sam Merson’s opener as the real disappointment as well as a potential spot kick of their own that was not given.
Certainly the City players were still pleading their case to the referee at the final whistle.
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Ian Allinson made two changes to the side that beat Oxford City. In came Josh McLeod-Urquhart and Clovis Kamdjo, the latter having served his three-match ban for his sending off at Eastbourne.
Dave Diedhiou and Solomon Sambou were the men to drop to the bench.
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The length of the journey across country and the time it took was high on the list for topics of conversation for Saints’ fans but any bus legs the team had weren’t noticeable as the match kicked off under clear skies.
They perhaps should have been a goal up inside two minutes as a Ben Wyatt free-kick was curled in towards the far post and with Michael Clark and Tom Bender charging in the ball was headed wide from a few yards out.
Merson had a good chance just after following a wonderful bit of technique that saw him control a long ball dropping over the heads of the defence.
However, after the ball bounced back up nicely, his second touch sent the shot behind for a goal kick.
Truro were guilty of some sloppy defending, giving the ball away far too easily in a dangerous position, but both Merson and David Moyo were equally guilty of not taking full advantage of the gifts, failing to test Harvey Rivers in the home goal on each occasion.
And slowly the White Tigers marked their Treyew Road homecoming with an exciting performance.
Snedker needed to be strong as Truro carved through the City midfield and it was with no shortness of relief that the half-time whistle blew with St Albans still level.
Wyatt had a couple of chances to shoot in the opening five minutes but was hounded out first by Austen Booth and then by an over-enthusiastic touch from himself which saw the ball ran through to the keeper.
Truro perhaps should have taken the lead when the ball fell to Dan Rooney in front of goal, just inside the box. He failed to connect though and the chance was gone.
But finally there was a breakthrough and Merson, who had almost scored from a corner moments before, stepped inside the last defender and thumped it beyond Rivers, who couldn’t keep it out despite getting hands to it.
And for 10 minutes it looked positive for the Saints but then the game changed with a penalty for handball.
It was one of them where the nonsensical unnatural position of the arm law was invoked.
The Saints players claimed it hit the chest or armpit but the referee was adamant it struck the hand on its way towards goal.
However right or wrong the award decision was Tyler Harvey made sure with a firm effort to the right and above Snedker.
It led to Truro finishing the second half as they had the first but with more and better chances.
River Allen cracked a volley flush of the bar before Lewis Knight and Wyatt cleared two from under the bar, the second one that the young wing back had no right to stop.
Harvey then was inches away from turning in a Jared Lewington cross at the far post but the hosts eventually found the winner deep into stoppage time.
But it could quite easily have been another story with Saints almost snatching the win themselves.
First their appeals for a handball of their own were waved away by the man in the middle and then with a minute to go Sambou slipped fellow substitute Khale Da Costa through.
However, the ball hit a bobble just as he was about to swing a boot at it, and then his intended pass to Moyo just came up short.
That provided an apt if disappointing description for Saints too on their longest away day of the season.
St Albans City: Snedker, McLeod- Urquhart, Clark, Kiangebeni (Sambou 70), Knight, Bender, Wyatt, Kamdjo, Merson (Diedhiou 81), Moyo, Banton (Da Costa 81).
Subs (not used): Gardiner-Smith, Sanderson.
Goal: Merson 57
Booked: Kiangebeni 44
Truro City: Rivers, Booth (L.Rooney 63), Riley-Lowe, Grimes, Richards, Hurst, Allen, Battle, D.Rooney, Harvey, Lewington.
Subs (not used): Keats, Bentley.
Goals: Harvey (pen) 67, L.Rooney 90+2
HT: Truro City 0 St Albans City 0
Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis (Coventry)