Biggleswade provide tough test for St Albans City

PUBLISHED: 23:19 28 July 2015 | UPDATED: 23:26 28 July 2015

Kieran Bishop, pictured against Crystal Palace XI, scored for St Albans City against Biggleswade Town. Picture: Leigh Page

Kieran Bishop, pictured against Crystal Palace XI, scored for St Albans City against Biggleswade Town. Picture: Leigh Page

Archant

Biggleswade Town provided St Albans City a much sterner test than expected and earned a 1-1 draw at the Carlsberg Stadium tonight.

Former Saint Inih Effoing put the Waders in front with a classy goal after Michael Malcolm missed a penalty at the other end.

The hosts were the better side for large parts of the game but City managed to salvage a draw when trialist Kieran Bishop converted Lewis Hilliard’s through ball.

There wasn’t too much to glean from tonight’s game, other than keeping Joe Welch, St Albans City’s goalkeeper, was a must this summer and Kieran Bishop is making it difficult for the management not to sign him.

Welch had one black mark on his performance when he came and failed to catch a corner, but other than that he was excellent. Biggleswade could have put four or five past City after getting behind the defence too many times for comfort but Welch was alert to rush off his line or pull of the kinds of saves fans have come accustomed to seeing from him.

Up front, Simon Thomas and Malcolm, whose partnership was so good against Barnet, failed to break down the Waders’ centre-backs. It took the introduction of Bishop in the 54th minute to add the potency the attack had been missing.

And in one of the sole bits of real quality St Albans produced, Hilliard turned his man in midfield, ran at goal and split the defence to set up Bishop, who opened his body and rolled the ball into the bottom corner.

Bishop had another chance in the 84th minute after James Comley, moved into midfield when Kayode Bola replaced Danny Green, played a fantastic ball through a crowded box but Biggleswade’s goalkeeper, Ian Brown, tipped his shot over the bar.

The overall quality was lacking for the Saints. Only when they got the ball down and played quick, slick passing through the midfield did they look like a team that could cause problems in the Vanarama National League South.

The pre-season friendlies continue to come thick and fast for the Saints – they travel to Hitchin Town on Thursday and then welcome Woking to Clarence Park on Saturday.

Team

St Albans City: Welch, Hall (Kyriacou - 54), Chappell, Corcoran, Comley, Martin, J Green, D Green (Bola - 54), Malcolm (Bishop - 54), Thomas, Hillard. Subs: Locke

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