Match preview: Concord Rangers vs St Albans City

PUBLISHED: 11:00 06 March 2015 | UPDATED: 11:00 06 March 2015

Michael Malcolm scores on his league debut for the Saints against Concord Rangers. Picture: Leigh Page

Michael Malcolm scores on his league debut for the Saints against Concord Rangers. Picture: Leigh Page

Archant

St Albans City and Concord Rangers have very different motivations heading into Saturday’s Vanarama Conference South clash at The Aspect Arena.

John Frendo scores from the spot. Picture: Bob WalkleyJohn Frendo scores from the spot. Picture: Bob Walkley

The Saints are in a barren run of form – they failed to pick up a victory in February as they earned two points from a possible 15 – and their last win came seven weeks ago, coincidently against Concord Rangers.

It’s a run that has seen them drop to 15th in the table. They are 11 points clear of safety but they have played two games more than most of the teams below them – if results don’t go their way, they could be in trouble in a hurry.

Their motivation: staying well clear of a relegation dog fight.

Tenth-placed Concord, on the other hand, are looking up. The loss to St Albans on January 17 was their last and they are unbeaten in seven games. The last three games have been draws but they have beaten Chelmsford City, Havant and Waterlooville and Whitehawk in that run.

In the incredibly tight division, if Danny Cowley’s team can extend their streak then a play-off spot is not out of the realms of possibility.

Concord’s motivation: sneaking into the play-offs.

Whichever proves to be the greater motivation could lead to victory.

Team

Joe Welch will retain his spot between the sticks but he will be looking to keep his first clean sheet since February 10. The defence should also remain unchanged with Darren Locke and Omar Beckles flanked by Howard Hall and Lee Chappell.

With so much on the line, joint managers James Gray and Graham Golds could opt for a more attacking formation with one defensive midfielder – Charlie Gorman or James Kalcozi – sitting behind James Comley and Sam Corcoran.

That would leave John Frendo, Michael Malcolm and Jamal Lowe to lead the line. The win over Concord in January was the first time they had played together and they were sensational. The trio hasn’t been nearly as fruitful as many expected after the first showing, but Saturday could be the chance, and the right opponent, to showcase its class once again.

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