Saints return to Hampshire keen for points

PUBLISHED: 09:00 18 February 2011

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Blue Square Bet South

Farnborough v St Albans City

Saturday, February 19, 2011

ST ALBANS City will be hoping to build on their improved performance at Eastleigh on Monday night when they return to Hampshire to tackle Farnborough.

ADDRESS: The Rushmoor Stadium, Cherrywood Road, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 8UD

Tel: 0844 807 9900

THE LOWDOWN: Farnborough are enjoying a good season having won promotion from the Zamaretto Premier Division last term and currently sit third in the table, eight points behind leaders Braintree Town.

Steve King’s side have won seven of their last nine games, only slipping up against relegation threatened Dartford and Boreham Wood.

Last time out Boro came from behind to beat Thurrock 4-2, courtesy of goals from Dean McDonald, Kezie Ibe, Bradley Bubb and James Smith.

Boro’s biggest victory this season was a 4-0 defeat of Hampton & Richmond Borough while their biggest defeat saw them go down 6-3 at Dover Athletic. The club’s squad is currently stretched by several injuries to key players and a registration embargo means the club is unable to bring in any replacements.

THE MANAGER: Steve King shot to prominence when he was harshly relieved of his duties having just guided Lewes to the Blue Square Bet South title.

Since leaving the Rooks, King had a spell at troubled Northwich Victoria before arriving at Cherrywood Road with the brief to restore Farnborough to former glories.

King is a full-time employee at Cherrywood Road alongside assistant manager Justin Skinner coaching the club’s academy sides.

The Farnborough boss has seen City at first hand in recent weeks, summarising on BBC Radio Surrey during City’s 2-0 defeat at Woking.

THE SQUAD: Former Arsenal stopper Michael Jordan has been ever present in the league for Farnborough this term,

Craig Braham-Barrett and Osei Sankofa will be battling it out for the right-back spot in the absence of long-term injury victims Jamie Stevens and Jay Conroy.

England C international James Smith made the decision to drop down from Blue Square Premier with Ebbsfleet to join Farnborough while the club were still in the Zamaretto League and he is a key component of the Boro defence.

Steve Robinson has again linked up with manager Steve King after playing for him at both Lewes and Northwich Victoria. The veteran defender has also tasted life in Blue Square South with Chelmsford City before heading to Cherrywood Road.

City will not have to worry about dealing with influential midfielder Daryl McMahon after the former Stevenage man was ruled out for six weeks with ankle ligament damage sustained in the win over Ebbsfleet.

There was some good news for Boro though as Gary Holloway made his comeback from a knee injury earlier than anticipated during the win at Thurrock.

The Saints know all about the quality of Jack King after the midfielder’s brace gave Farnborough all three points at Clarence Park earlier in the season and he will prove to be a handful for City’s young midfield. Nic Ciardini has started Boro’s last three games in midfield while Owen Price and Dale Binns give King options on the wing.

Up front Boro have an abundance of talent to call upon. Grenada international Bradley Bubb has attracted the attention of several Football League teams in recent weeks with the former Chalfont St Peter hotshot playing 45 minutes on trial for Barnsley in midweek. Bubb has plundered 19 goals in 24 games this season while Dean McDonald and Kezie Ibe have netted eight and nine respectively.

LAST TIME: Two superb strikes from Jack King were enough for Farnborough to triumph at Clarence Park back in November.

City’s last game at Cherrywood Road was April 2006 when the inhabitants were known as Farnborough Town. Current number one Paul Bastock played in goal that day for City keeping a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw.

REFEREE (subject to change): Tim Wood (Gloucestershire) assisted by R Hailstone and S Conway.

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