St Albans City get the FA Cup train moving with replay success over Concord

Dave Diedhiou headed St Albans City in front in their FA Cup replay with Concord Rangers.

Dave Diedhiou headed St Albans City in front in their FA Cup replay with Concord Rangers. - Credit: DANNY LOO PHOTOGRAPHY

St Albans City finally saw off Concord Rangers in their replay to advance to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup.

A headed goal by Dave Diedhiou on 11 minutes finally got their noses in front after the two sides had drawn 0-0 in the first meeting on Saturday.

Shaun Jeffers then made it 2-0 on 90 minutes and set up an away trip to Metropolitan Police a week on Saturday.

It was a deserved win and while the match was never a classic, to beat a good side from your own league will give the squad much confidence.

The two teams had very different ideas about team selection ahead of this one.

St Albans had gone with just the one change from Saturday, Mitchell Weiss in for Zane Banton, but Concord chopped and changed five of their starting line-up.

The early exchanges seemed to suggest that the Concord way was the best one, Ryan Blackman with a dipping and swerving free-kick that needed Michael Johnson to push the shot over the bar..

But after a fine block when Shaun Jeffers got a sight of goal, a corner from the left was sent to the far post where Diedhiou nodded it down and in.

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There were chances after this. Jeffers headed over when he should have done better and a low cross from Weiss found Romeo Akinola but his shot found only the midriff of Aaron Pollock.

Temi Babalola should have put the Canvey Island side through on Saturday but had his late penalty saved by Johnson.

He was one of those five changes and had two chances in the first period to score, the first a glorious one.

He looked offside as he broke through but the flag stayed down. His effort with only the keeper to beat was rolled harmlessly wide though.

The second on the stroke of half-time saw him get to a right-wing cross ahead of Johnson but when his shot came back off the post, Joy Mukena got to it first and hooked it off the line.

The visitors started the second half brightly but even though they got into some good positions, they never pulled the trigger and never tested Johnson.

When they did finally get a couple of shots on goal they were straight down the keeper's throat.

Saints didn't have many chances of their own but when Johnny Goddard fired one in low from just inside the box, Myles Roberts still required to get down low and make a good stop.

The fact it remained 1-0 for so long meant both teams weren't happy and were looking for any scrap of comfort. Saints wanted a second to kill the game off while the Beachboys always fancied their chances of at least forcing extra time.

But with 90 minutes on the clock, it was City who sealed the deal.

It had a small amount of fortune about it but Jeffers did well to charge down the keeper's clearance and while the ball spun away from goal, it also spun away from the touchline and stayed in.

Jeffers had reacted while Roberts hadn't and a little chipped lob over the defender and into the empty net sent the home fans delirious.

St Albans City: Johnson, Bender, Wiltshire, Akinola, Jeffers, Diedhiou, Noble, (Dawson 64) Weiss (Banton 81), Lankshear, Mukena, Goddard.

Subs (not used): Gauthier, Austin, Sole, Bani, Adebiyi.

Goals: Diedhiou 11, Jeffers 90

Booked: Bender 5, Diedhiou 57

Concord Rangers: Roberts, Reid, Peck (Blanchfield 75), Pollock, Blackman, Babalola, Green, Ekpiteta (Payne 63), Randell (Reynolds), Kensdale, Crane.

Subs (not used): Gordon-Stearn, Martin, Cracknell.

Booked: Crane 52, Blanchfield 82, Babalola 85, Green 90+4

HT: St Albans City 1 Concord Rangers 0

Referee: Oliver Mackey (Peterborough)

Attendance: 464