FA Cup second qualifying round
Temi Babalola missed pen 85
St Albans City
Magic Johnson keeps St Albans City in the FA Cup at Concord Rangers
- Credit: JIM STANDEN
Michael Johnson kept St Albans City's hopes of a long stay in the FA Cup alive with a vital penalty save forcing a replay with Concord Rangers.
With both sides unable to find a breakthrough, the hosts were given a golden opportunity after a foul on Wyan Reid with just five minutes to go.
However, Johnson read Temi Babalola's intentions and pulled off the save to take the match to a second meeting at Clarence Park on Tuesday.
And Johnson was pleased to have made an important contribution.
"I did my part," he said. "I didn’t have a lot of saves to make. Although we didn’t have much of the ball, they didn’t really have many shots to make me work.
"To do my job and help the boys after they have put in a hard 90 minutes is a really nice feeling."
Manager Ian Allinson was pleased his keeper's homework had come to fruition and he was pleased to see his side remain in the competition after an improved second period.
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He said: "There is a reason why they are third in our league. They are a good team with good players and we didn’t get to grips with what we wanted to do.
"We gave the ball away too cheaply in the first half but once we got the players to accept responsibility on the ball, we were much better and we passed it really well.
"For long periods [after the break] we were very good and had three very good chances but we could have lost it with the penalty.
"Fortunately, we had spoken about penalties in the week and we felt we knew which way the lad they brought on and who took the pen would go.
"Michael still had to execute his part of that but he did it perfectly."
The Saints boss though is well aware that avoiding defeat at Thames Road does not mean they have progressed and they will have to perform to their very best to do so.
He said: "We wanted to be in the draw on Monday but trust me, Tuesday will be another tough game and I won’t be turning up thinking we’re already into the next round.
"We have to work extremely hard and play extremely well if we are going to get through."