Maradona-esque goal by Hoenes seals five-star Saints win
PUBLISHED: 10:35 27 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:35 27 July 2016
Rhys Hoenes’ wonder goal was the stand-out moment of the night as five-star St Albans City cruised past Arlesey Town with a 5-2 pre-season success.
Picking the ball up just inside the opposition half, the former Royston winger slalomed his way into Town’s penalty area past defender after defender before slipping the ball beyond the keeper.
That made it 4-0 and perhaps stole the thunder of Sam Merson, who scored twice on his first start and looked clinical.
It would have also stolen the thunder of Junior Morias who opened his City account with a ferocious shot into the top corner of the net.
Billy Gibson scored the other.
After a good win over Boreham Wood, the hope from the travelling support was that City could open up and show real attacking intent and flair against a side two levels below them.
And they did.
Merson opened the scoring after just 37 seconds, the ball running free to him after a clumsy challenge on Hoenes.
And he was Johnny on the spot again for number two, after superb work from Stephane Ngala down the left had saw the central midfielder ghost into the box.
Ngala has impressed in his first two games. His height and rangy style of running draw obvious comparison with Yaya Toure but he does have good feet and close control.
He did drift in and out of the game but when he was involved he looked a decent prospect.
Gibson got the third in similar fashion, converting after a run and pull back, this time by Ben Herd.
Matt Whichelow sent one inches wide and Merson’s inch-perfect through ball to Hoenes require a brave block.
But it was Arlesey who snaffled the last goal of the half, Lewis Wilson escaping the City clutches before beating James Russell.
Arlesey had started the game with a mixture of youngsters and trialists and just four recognised first-teamers.
They made a number of changes at the break and looked a much-more cohesive outfit for it.
Wilson struck again to reduce the deficit further but Morias restored the three-goal advantage moments later with the last goal of the game.
There were other chances, Merson denied a hat-trick by the fingers of the keeper and Ben Martin seeing an effort from a corner cleared off the line.
But with the season just over a week away, City are slowly clicking into gear.
The problem for Ian Allinson will now be who he picks to start on August 6.