Gallery: Saints draw with Chesham
PUBLISHED: 10:11 30 December 2013 | UPDATED: 10:12 30 December 2013
St Albans drew with second placed side Chesham United on Boxing Day, as the Generals came from behind to take a first half lead at Clarence Park, but were in the end denied a win in the pursuit of Hemel courtesy of an ambitious James Kaloczi effort, which bounced off of goalkeeper Shane Gore and in.
The Saints started the game in an impressive manor, when Kaloczi broke up a Chesham attack and played the ball forward to Frendo, who turned in the middle of the park, before threading a pass into the path of Jamal Lowe, and as he reached the edge of box, he cut inside, and unleashed a curling effort which beat Gore and found the bottom corner of the net to give City an early lead.
Lowe then turned provider by flicking the ball up to Frendo in the area, but the forward’s volleyed strike goes just wide of the target.
The Generals were next to threaten, as The Saints failed to clear and it fell to ex-City player Inih Effiong, who’s low effort tested Bastock, and it took the goalkeeper a second attempt to finally gather.
With 20 minutes on the clock, Comley’s corner was cleared back out to the midfielder, and he delivered a cross which reached Kaloczi, but his header bounced off of the bar and out for a goal kick.
However, Chesham were finding themselves more and more in the game, and Steve Wales, who had looked dangerous throughout the match, unleashed a powerful volleyed strike which bounced off of the post, and deflected back into the goal courtesy of an unintentional touch from Chesham full-back Toby Little, which pulled the visitors back on level terms.
With a minute left of the half, and Kaloczi, who had a mixed game, along with the rest of the City midfield, gave the ball away in the centre of the pitch, and after Chehsam had attacked down the wing, the ball eventually found its way through to John Kyriacou, who was free on the edge of the area, and the defender caught the ball perfectly, beating Bastock with his strike, to give The Generals the lead for the first time in the match.
Chesham began the second half like they had ended the first, and looked to latch onto City’s sloppy passing. James Potton almost got lucky with a deflected effort, but Bastock gratefully grasped the effort to his chest.
Despite Chesham’s general control of the game for long periods, an audacious effort from Kaloczi on the 56 minute mark levelled things up. The midfielder, who has now scored his fourth goal in five games, hit a volley from over 30 yards, and as it suddenly dipped, goalkeeper Gore failed to get a good connection on the ball, leading to the ball hitting the woodwork, before coming off the goalkeeper and crossing the line.
Gore scrambled the ball away from behind the line, but referee Rob Smith gave the goal, and then booked the goalkeeper for his protests at the decision.
The match started to become more stretched, with both sides looking to secure an all-important three points. Comley was next to go close, when a short free kick was rolled out to him, and he hit a low strike which tested Gore.
Potton then proceeded to launch a dangerous attack with 64 minutes gone, and managed to win a corner off of a City defender, with the corresponding corner falling to Effiong, but he was again denied by Bastock.
Both management teams looked to be going for the win, with Chesham bringing on another ex-Saint Drew Roberts in place of Inih Effiong, while James Gray and Graham Golds decided to introduce Nwokeji, who came on for David Keenleyside.
As the game entered the final ten minutes, the hosts pushed forward, and Kaloczi came close after a knock down from Nwokeji into his path, but the midfielder’s shot from a tight angle hit the side netting.
Martin was then denied by a diving save from Gore after a Comley corner, and Frendo had a shot which was straight at the goalkeeper, but despite the pressing from the Saints, and a series of testing long throws from Lee Chappell, the Chesham defence held well, and saw out injury time to secure a point at Clarence Park.
Saints starting line-up: Bastock; Hall; Chappell; Kaloczi; Martin; Ward; Keenleyside; Comley; Frendo; Lowe; Graham. Saints Subs: Ferguson; Watters; Nwokeji; Green; Locke.
Chesham United starting line-up: Gore; Kyriacou; Little; Lambert; Gordon; Thomas; Fotheringham; Wales; Dillon; Effiong; Potton. Chesham Subs: Roberts; Braithwaite; Brown; Hamilton; Dodge.