St Albans City fightback falls short against Whitehawk

John Frendo slots home from the spot. Picture: Leigh Page

John Frendo slots home from the spot. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

St Albans City remain stuck in a rut after their fightback fell short against Whitehawk at Clarence Park.

Twice City reined in the Hawks with goals from Geoff Mitchell and John Frendo but they couldn’t cancel out Jake Robinson’s goal, to make it 3-1, as they registered back-to-back defeats.

The scoreline flattered the Saints who were thoroughly outclassed but also contrived to their own defeat, consistently losing possession and miss-placing the simplest of passes.

After a bright opening 20 minutes in which St Albans seemed to promised plenty, they ran out of steam and Whitehawk took over the game.

The visitors opened the scoring in the 27th minute from a well-worked corner routine. The ball was worked to Sergio Torres on the edge of the box and he split the defence to find Osei Sankofa who finished neatly under Joe Welch.

The Saints tried to get back into the game but their ball retention was poor, and as a result chances were hard to come by.

The Hawks’ second arrived in the 40th minute as Gerardo Blanco capitalised on a Lee Chappell mistake to tee up Nick Arnold who delivered a fantastic cross for Danny Mills. The big centre forward gleefully mopped up the chance with a header back across goal to give Whitehawk a deserved 2-0 lead.

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Mitchell scored shortly after the break to give City a glimmer of hope, turning in John Kyriacou’s low cross, but that’s all it was, and it was quickly extinguished by Robinson. Five minutes earlier Danny Mills had a goal ruled out for offside but the official could have no complaints about Robinson’s goal as he finished excellently from outside the box.

James Gray and Graham Golds brought on loanee Joel Nouble to try to turn the tide and he responded by winning a penalty, which Frendo smashed high to the goalkeeper’s left to bring City back within one.

St Albans showed signs of life but a comeback in the vein of the 5-3 win over Cheshunt was not to happen. A late flurry of chances on the Hawks’ goal nearly resulted in a equaliser but it wasn’t to be.

A trip to league leaders Basingstoke awaits City next Saturday. They will be hoping for, and needing, much better

St Albans City starting line-up: Welch, Kyriacou, Chappell, Gorman, Martin, Locke, Taylor, Corcoran, Frendo, Shields, Mitchell. Subs: Nouble, Wales, Keenleyside, Kaloczi, Green.

Whitehawk starting line-up: Ross, Arnold, Hills, Ijaha, Sankofa, Cadmore, Blanco, Torres, Robinson, Mills, Kissock. Subs: Gargan, Guyonnet, Tchonang, Makofo, Kujabi.

Attendance: 458