Saints march on with impressive victory over Chelmsford
PUBLISHED: 21:45 14 August 2017 | UPDATED: 21:50 14 August 2017
St Albans City took the spoils in the battle of the only one-hundred percent records left in the Vanarama National League South – with a 2-0 win at Chelmsford City.
Goals from Tom Gardiner and Rhys Murrell-Williamson, his second in three days, gave St Albans an impressive and potentially important three points.
Both sides went into this game as the only two in the division with three wins from the opening three games, Saints leading their hosts on goal difference.
By the end though City were three points clear of a side tipped by Saints manager Ian Allinson to be one of the main challengers for the title.
And it continued their best start to a season for 17 years, when seven straight wins were recorded.
In truth there was as little between the teams in the first half as there was in the table at the start.
Chelmsford just edged it but while they had a lot more shots at goal, only one called Dean Snedker into action, holding on to a James Stevenson effort just before the quarter-hour mark.
Saints in contrast took their one effort when it came.
A free-kick from the left from Zan Banton was clipped to the back post where Gardiner was steaming in, planting his header beyond Sam Beasent.
Solomon Sambou almost danced his way to the goal later on in the half but was hounded out.
The second half was a strange beast, with the quality down but the number of chances rapidly climbing.
And City’s second was a total case in point.
Craig Braham-Barrett was caught in possession and Murrell-Williamson gleefully gobbled up the chance, curling the ball into the corner.
Chelmsford turned to their bench but couldn’t get a long enough period to really threaten Saints.
They did have chances; Kudus Oyenuga forced Snedker into a save down low to his left and Stevenson hit a volley across goal and wide.
In the end the expected barrage never came and the clinical edge to take their chances when they came was the difference.
City: Snedker, Herd, Gardiner, Sambou, Bender, Joseph, Murrell-Williamson (Lucien 82), Kiagabeni (Thomas 75), Walker, Monlouis, Banton (Eadie 85)
Subs (not used): Russell, Noble
Goals: Gardiner 19, Murrell-Williamson 58
Chelmsford: Beasent, Omuzusi, Braham-Barrett, Davies, Bush, Haines, Johnson (West 59), Stevenson, Oyenuga, Barnard (Daley 67), Giles (Dickson 59)
Subs (not used): Greene, Batt
HT: Chelmsford City 0 St Albans City 1
Referee: Aji Ajibola