St Albans City stay unbeaten in the league after penalty save and clinical finishing against Chippenham Town

PUBLISHED: 11:28 02 November 2020

Rihards Matrevics makes a crucial penalty save for St Albans City against Chippenham Town in the National League South at Clarence Park. Picture: JIM STANDEN

Rihards Matrevics makes a crucial penalty save for St Albans City against Chippenham Town in the National League South at Clarence Park. Picture: JIM STANDEN

Archant

Rihards Matrevics and St Albans City produced the perfect response to their FA Cup exit with a 3-0 win at home against Chippenham Town.

Zane Banton in action for St Albans City against Chippenham Town in the National League South at Clarence Park. Picture: JIM STANDENZane Banton in action for St Albans City against Chippenham Town in the National League South at Clarence Park. Picture: JIM STANDEN

The stand-in goalkeeper, brought in from Hendon to cover an injury to Michael Johnson, had been cast in the role of pantomime villain at Bishop’s Stortford but he produced a sensational penalty save after just five minutes.

And from there they were clinical to move up to fourth in the National League South, three points behind leaders Dartford and with a game in hand.

St Albans City celebrate against Chippenham Town in the National League South at Clarence Park. Picture: JIM STANDENSt Albans City celebrate against Chippenham Town in the National League South at Clarence Park. Picture: JIM STANDEN

It could have been so different after the visitors were awarded the spot-kick for handball.

The effort from Joe Hanks went straight down the middle but Matrevics, who had dived to his left, flung out a foot and kicked it away.

Mitchell Weiss in action for St Albans City against Chippenham Town in the National League South at Clarence Park. Picture: JIM STANDENMitchell Weiss in action for St Albans City against Chippenham Town in the National League South at Clarence Park. Picture: JIM STANDEN

Not long after the Saints took the lead through Zane Banton, in the right place at the right time to follow up a narrowly missed Shaun Jeffers effort.

Neither side then truly created too many clear-cut opportunities for the majority of the game.

Mitchell Weiss in action for St Albans City against Chippenham Town in the National League South at Clarence Park. Picture: JIM STANDENMitchell Weiss in action for St Albans City against Chippenham Town in the National League South at Clarence Park. Picture: JIM STANDEN

Chippenham had more of the ball in the first-half, and looked marginally the more dangerous of the two sides, but it was City who doubled their lead before the break, Mitchell Weiss beating the offside trap and rounding the keeper before slotting home for a tight angle.

Throughout the second half St Albans looked to soak up a lot of pressure and hit the visitors on the counter.

Shaun Jeffers in action for St Albans City against Chippenham Town in the National League South at Clarence Park. Picture: JIM STANDENShaun Jeffers in action for St Albans City against Chippenham Town in the National League South at Clarence Park. Picture: JIM STANDEN

Again neither side looked particularly threatening as they both failed to create any chances of note until late in the period when Matrevics had to pull off a brilliant save with five minutes remaining, earning a well-deserved clean sheet.

And St Albans were able to make it three before the final whistle as Shaun Jeffers took his tally in the early part of the season up to five.

It came after a heavy touch from Chippenham goalkeeper Will Puddy outside his 18-yard-box, giving the striker the opportunity to fire into an empty net with only moments remaining.

As it stands the National League South is classed as elite and will therefore be allowed to carry on during November, although there has been no official confirmation.

St Albans’ next game therefore will be on Tuesday, November 10, at home to Braintree Town.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Herts Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Herts Advertiser