Ten-man St Albans City salvage deserved draw at Concord Rangers
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
St Albans City returned from Essex on Saturday evening with a well-deserved point following a 1-1 draw against Concord Rangers.
Dave Diedhiou got his first goal since February 2019 in the 78th minute, cancelling out Alex Wall’s first-half penalty.
The equaliser came while Saints were a man short, James Kaloczi sent-off after receiving two yellow cards.
Manager Ian Allinson made two changes from the side that defeated Hampton & Richmond Borough in their first National League South game of the season, bringing in Dave Diedhiou and Joy Mukena for Devante Stanley and Luke Warner-Eley.
It was the hosts who started better and were denied an opening goal by keeper Michael Johnson, who did well to get down to his left to parry Wall’s drive wide of the target.
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Saints had their first attempt on target just before the half-hour mark when the ball dropped to Shaun Jeffers on the edge of the box. However, his effort was straight at Chris Haigh.
Concord though had the lead five minutes before the break after Wall went down as he looked to jump to meet a cross.
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His pot-kick was hit with confidence to the left of Johnson.
The start of the second half brought about an improvement from City in the final third and Munashe Sundire was only inches away from levelling things up when he cut into from the right and saw his driven strike deflected inches wide by the boot of a defender.
Kaloczi’s dismissal came on 67 minutes as he went for a 50-50 with Wall. The referee saw it as a foul and brandished a second yellow.
Allinson immediately brought on Luke Warner-Eley and David Noble in place of Zane Banton and Mitchell Weiss, and it was Warner-Eley who played a significant part in City’s equaliser.
The full-back whipped a free-kick towards the edge of the box for Diedhiou to meet and he planted his header into the top corner.
Substitute Odei Marti could have given Concord the lead again with five minutes left but was denied by Johnson while Joe Chidyauskiu could only direct a strike on the turn straight at Haigh.
City are in FA Cup action on Tuesday when they host Northern Premier League Mickleover.