St Albans City play their get out of jail card as they scrape through in the cup
PUBLISHED: 22:02 12 January 2016 | UPDATED: 10:28 13 January 2016
Two goals from Harry Crawford against Hadley - the last in the second minute of injury time - sent a fortunate St Albans City into the Herts Senior Cup semi final.
It was very harsh on the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division outfit who took the lead in the second minute through Iuan Machado.
Crawford equalised on 50 minutes before his late winner, taking a touch and firing beyond Charlie Mann in the Hadley goal.
City named two youngsters in the team, Gerardo Smaldone and Charlie Ward, while a number of fringe players were given a chance.
If the changes were designed to bring a upturn in fortunes safter Saturday’s 5-0 drubbing at Sutton United, they didn’t work.
But as bad as City were in the first half, Hadley were outstanding.
And how they weren’t at least four up at half time was the topic of conversation in the interval.
Machado claimed the first after just 65 seconds leaving Joe Welch totally wrong-footed.
It came from a good passing move and set the tone for the game.
Tanasheh Abrahams had a couple of efforts at goal before a Welch fumble was just enough to stop Bowen from heading home.
Laste Dombaxe had a pot shot from distance deflected wide and Nick Chrysanthou sent a fantastic curling shot off the bar.
For City only a Kevin Krans free kick came close, a combination of the post and Mann keeping it out.
It required a big half-time team talk from Harry Wheeler and it first it seemed it had not been delivered as Machado raced through the middle to be denied by Welch.
But then Crawford reacted quickest after Jack Green’s air-shot and you expected City to go on.
But Hadley were giving as good as they got.
Dombaxe had a shot pushed onto the post by Welch, while a miskick from a Hadley defender rattled his own post.
Mann saved from Jonathan Edwards moments after Welch had blocked from Machado as both teams looked for a winner.
Jack Green looked like he would have the last chance in normal time but his low drive was brilliantly stopped by the Hadley stopper.
But then came Crawford’s winner and heartbreak for the visitors.
City: Welch, Smaldone (Lee 65), Kyriacou, Thomas, Oshodi (Ferguson 60), Ward (Swales 65), Edwards, Gibson, Crawford, Krans, Green
Subs (not used): -
Goals: Crawford 50
Hadley: Mann, Luther, Flannery (Duncan-Williams 82), Costello (Jno-Baptiste 75), Bowen, Lyon, Dombaxe, Chrysanthou, Machado, Mutiak (Gangadeen 61), Abrahams
Subs (not used): McAteer
Goals: Machado 2