St Albans City stay unbeaten in the league after penalty save and clinical finishing against Chippenham Town
- Credit: Archant
Rihards Matrevics and St Albans City produced the perfect response to their FA Cup exit with a 3-0 win at home against Chippenham Town.
The stand-in goalkeeper, brought in from Hendon to cover an injury to Michael Johnson, had been cast in the role of pantomime villain at Bishop’s Stortford but he produced a sensational penalty save after just five minutes.
And from there they were clinical to move up to fourth in the National League South, three points behind leaders Dartford and with a game in hand.
It could have been so different after the visitors were awarded the spot-kick for handball.
The effort from Joe Hanks went straight down the middle but Matrevics, who had dived to his left, flung out a foot and kicked it away.
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Not long after the Saints took the lead through Zane Banton, in the right place at the right time to follow up a narrowly missed Shaun Jeffers effort.
Neither side then truly created too many clear-cut opportunities for the majority of the game.
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Chippenham had more of the ball in the first-half, and looked marginally the more dangerous of the two sides, but it was City who doubled their lead before the break, Mitchell Weiss beating the offside trap and rounding the keeper before slotting home for a tight angle.
Throughout the second half St Albans looked to soak up a lot of pressure and hit the visitors on the counter.
Again neither side looked particularly threatening as they both failed to create any chances of note until late in the period when Matrevics had to pull off a brilliant save with five minutes remaining, earning a well-deserved clean sheet.
And St Albans were able to make it three before the final whistle as Shaun Jeffers took his tally in the early part of the season up to five.
It came after a heavy touch from Chippenham goalkeeper Will Puddy outside his 18-yard-box, giving the striker the opportunity to fire into an empty net with only moments remaining.
As it stands the National League South is classed as elite and will therefore be allowed to carry on during November, although there has been no official confirmation.
St Albans’ next game therefore will be on Tuesday, November 10, at home to Braintree Town.