Gallery: St Albans come out on top in seven goal thriller
PUBLISHED: 09:27 18 February 2013 | UPDATED: 09:27 18 February 2013
ST Albans recorded their third consecutive Evo-Stik Southern Premier league victory with a hard-fought 4-3 win over Bideford at Clarence Park on Saturday.
Goals from Chris Seeby, captain James Comley and two from the impressive Chris Henry were enough to secure all three points for the Saints.
The hosts started the game brightly and it didn’t take long for them to register their first goal of the afternoon.
Full back Seeby picked up a loose ball just outside the penalty area on the right, before cutting inside the defender and drilling the ball low into the far corner.
City continued to look the better side, with Henry in particular providing a constant threat down the right.
It wasn’t until the 29th minute that the home team suffered their first real scare.
Joe Bruce was booked for a mistimed challenge on Robins’ forward Sean Downing giving Bideford a free kick 25 yards from goal.
Richard Groves stepped up to hit it for the visitors, and saw his weak effort spilt by Nick Jupp in the Saints goal only for the ‘keeper to instantly redeem himself with a fine second save to keep the score at 1-0.
With the half seemingly trundling to an end, City defender Bruce nodded the ball back towards Jupp but the header lacked the power to reach its intended destination and Downing nipped in to cleverly head the ball over the stranded Saints’ keeper and into the net.
But two minutes into added time the Saints retook the lead.
Left back Layne Eadie crossed for Henry on the right corner of the penalty area, the winger beat two Bideford defenders with a lovely piece of skill before being bundled over to leave the referee with little choice but to award the penalty.
Captain Comley stepped up to send the ‘keeper the wrong way and put the hosts 2-1 up at the break.
Bideford started the second half much the stronger, largely dominating the play as City struggled to string a succession of passes together.
With 12 minutes remaining and the away pressure growing, the Saints extended their lead on the break. Comley again found Henry over the top and the winger continued his impressive display by rounding the goalkeeper and sliding the ball between the covering defenders and into the net.
The two goal cushion was short-lived though as, six minutes later, the visitors were back within striking distance.
Left back Ben Wood’s mazy run was brought to a halt by Comley and the referee awarded a penalty. Richard Groves dispatched the spot-kick to bring the score back to 3-2 with five minutes to play.
With Bideford pushing for an equalizer, their defenders failed to deal with a long ball and Henry again took full advantage. Picking up the ball 20 yards from goal, he rifled his shot low to the ‘keepers left and into corner of the net to seemingly end the game as a contest with three minutes to play.
The away side kept going though and, in the 89th minute, they again halved the deficit. Downing latching on to a bobbling ball to drill home from the edge of the area for his second of the afternoon.
There would be no equalizer for the gutsy visitors though as the referee brought an end to the game shortly afterwards.
The result leaves City in seventh place in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier League table, with a trip to Frome Town coming up on Wednesday night.