St Albans City in FA Cup march on all Saints day
- Credit: Archant
Steve Wales and Sean Shields were on target for St Albans City as they beat Brackley Town 2-0 in their FA Cup third qualifying round clash at Clarence Park.
The hosts, who share their Saints nickname with Brackley, started brightly and took a fourth minute lead.
Lee Chappell’s free-kick from near half-way was headed across goal by skipper Ben Martin and Wales was on hand to tuck home at the far post past keeper Billy Turley.
St Albans continued to press with James Comley seeing an effort deflected wide and John Frendo firing over after a nice interchange between Wales and Chappell.
Brackley had to wait until the 23rd minute for their first chance, which saw captain Ryan Austin nod over Joe Welch’s goal.
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Another Chappell free-kick into the visitors’ box caused more problems on 26 minutes as James Kaloczi’s attempt came back off the post, Sean Shields got to the rebound and his shot was saved, but he was flagged offfside.
Back at the other end it was Austin who went close again as he headed over Ebbie Nelson-Addy’s corner.
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After the break it was Brackley who made all the running as they searched for a way back into the game.
The home support was on edge, as was joint boss James Gray as he barked at his players to lift their performance.
Gray made three substitutions and the final one was to prove crucial.
The newly introduced Dave Keenleyside worked his way to the edge of the box before offloading to Shields on 77 minutes.
The on loan Dagenham and Redbridge player cut inside his marker, leaving him on the deck, and rifled a left foot effort low into the corner of the net.
Shields’ goal looked to have secured the tie and that was confirmed when Brackley were reduced to 10 men as right back Dwayne Samuels felled Danny Green as he burst forward.
Brackley came close to a consolation in the dying stages, but Greg Kaziboni blasted just too high.
City now wait until Monday to find out who they will play in the next round.