Rampant St Albans City destroy National South leaders Dartford in exquisite display
PUBLISHED: 16:59 03 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:49 04 February 2018
If you want goals then Clarence Park is the place to be at the minute – as St Albans City followed up their seven last week by thrashing Vanarama National League South leaders Dartford 4-0.
Two goals from Sam Merson in three first half minutes followed by second-half strikes by Percy Kiangebeni and Rhys Murrell-Williamson
Merson, who along with Solomon Sambou has just signed a new contract, took his tally in the last two games to six, and for the season up to 19 in all competitions.
Both were from headers.
The first on 39 minutes came from a lovely dinked Kieran Monlouis cross and Merson running in from the right, glanced his effort in off the bar.
Then a corner from that right wing was flicked again by the spring-heeled number nine.
It was just what City deserved from a thoroughly professional and exciting performance.
The first half was as good a half of football as has been seen at Clarence Park this year and that statement holds true even after last week’s bonanza against East Thurrock United.
That result had clearly given Saints a spring in their step although for the opening 20 minutes the play switched from end to end.
But slowly City got on top and created the better chances.
Zane Banton came closest. A speculative overhead kick form Tom Bender caused havoc in the six-yard box and is it ran loose, Banton poked it towards goal, only to see it rebound off the post.
Rhys Murrell-Williamson had two shots from the right-hand side bounce around inside the box and Sambou hit a low drive just wide.
Ronnie Vint in particular was having a torrid time back there and twice the number five put the ball inches past the post in a desperate attempt to stop City scoring.
St Albans were still susceptible to corners though and Dean Snedker had to make one good save from one while from another Ben Herd cleared off the line.
Dartford’s best chance though came from open play and only a superb sliding tackle by Tariq Moore-Azille prevented Elliot Bradbrook form scoring.
Bradbrook almost pulled one back for Darts six minutes after the restart but after a poor clearance fell nicely for him, his shot rebounded off the post.
But that was it from the visitors as an attacking force.
Kiangebeni had all the time in the world on the edge of the box to bend an effort into the top corner and Murrell-Williamson’s heavily deflected effort, while fortunate, was nothing more than his display had deserved.
There could have been more, and perhaps should have been.
Deren Ibrahim had made a number of good saves, one in particular from Murrell-Williamson very impressive, Walker fired just over and Dartford had to smuggle one off the line.
It will be the only complaint from a superb afternoon for St Albans which sends them up to fourth and closes the gap at the top of the table to six points.
City: Snedker, Herd, Bender, D.Noble (Lucien 70), Kiangebeni, Moore-Azille, Kiangebeni, Murrell-Williamson, Sambou, Merson (Walker 79) Monlouis, Banton (Bradbury 84)
Subs (not used): Gardiner, Eadie
Goals: Merson 39, 42, Kiangebeni 59, Murrell-Williamson 65
Dartford: Ibrahim, Harris, Onyemah, Bonner, Vint, Collier, Hayes (Mills 61), Bradbrook, Pavey (Ofori-Acheampong 61), Pugh, Murphy (L.Noble 61)
Subs (not used): Della-Verde, Brown
Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis (Coventry)
Vanarama National League South: Results February 3
Bath City (2) 2 Hampton & Richmond Borough (0) 0
Bognor Regis Town (0) 0 Truro City (0) 2
Chelmsford City (1) 2 Chippenham Town (0) 0
Concord Rangers (0) 2 Oxford City (0) 1
Eastbourne Borough (3) 4 Hungerford Town (0) 1
Gloucester City (1) 2 Poole Town (1) 2
Havant & Waterlooville (0) 0 Braintree Town (0) 0
St Albans City (2) 4 Dartford (0) 0
Whitehawk (2) 5 Weston-super-Mare (1) 1
2.Hampton & Richmond Borough 50
3.Havant & Waterlooville 47
4.ST ALBANS CITY 47
5.Hemel Hempstead Town 47
6,Truro City 46
7.Braintree Town 46
8.Chelmsford City 45
9.Bath City 42
10.Welling United 41