Bank Holiday goal blitz sees Saints shoot down Seagulls to extend unbeaten streak
PUBLISHED: 14:01 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:01 18 April 2017
A three-goal first-half blitz was enough to see St Albans City overcome Weston-Super-Mare 3-0 in National League South at Clarence Park on Bank Holiday Monday.
Two spectacular strikes from Charlie Walker and Shaun Lucien and a Zane Banton penalty did the damage for the excellent Saints as they extended their unbeaten league run to five outings with two games to go.
The first half truly belonged to the home side and after Lucien went close in the fourth minute, they fashioned the opener not long after.
Walker, who had only just raced back on to the field after taking a knock moments earlier, found himself on the left of the box in the 14th minute after a swift counter-attack and sent a beautiful curling effort beyond keeper Luke Purnell.
Four minutes later the lead was doubled with an almost identical finish as Lucien cut inside and bent a shot into the far corner of the net.
Things got worse for the Seagulls on the half-hour mark as City produced their third goal of the afternoon.
To the bemusement of nearby observers, Aden Baldwin’s challenge on Banton inside the box was deemed illegal, when many felt he had fairly won the ball.
Luton Town loanee Banton didn’t mind, though, as he twice stroked the ball past Purnell after the initial penalty was chalked off for encroachment.
Following their horrid first period, visiting boss Scott Bartlett threw on Jake Reid and Jacob Cane after the restart as Weston rallied.
Saints’ Kieran Monlouis saw a low 48th-minute shot force a smart stop from Purnell, but Weston looked the more likely to add to the scoresheet with Jason Pope seeing a strike saved at the other end by James Russell, while Dayle Grubb was also denied from point-blank range.
A moment of panic almost saw Weston finally breach the home defence with 15 minutes to go as Russell rushed from his goalline, but neither Cane or Reid could drill the ball into the unguarded net thanks to some dogged defending by the hosts.
That was to be as good as it got for the Somerset outfit, with Saints substitute Sam Merson almost adding a fourth late on, but his angled strike crashed agonisingly into Purnell’s side netting.