St Albans City show plenty of fight to beat Weston-super-Mare
PUBLISHED: 22:03 08 March 2016 | UPDATED: 09:07 09 March 2016
The band are warming up at Clarence Park - and on the evidence of this performance, The Great Escape could still be on the playlist.
St Albans City fought back from a goal down at half-time against Weston-super-Mare to secure a massive 2-1 win in the battle to avoid the drop from the Vanarama National League South.
It was a thoroughly deserved success, with Saints peppering the Weston goal at times.
Michael Thalassitis was the hero, scoring two minutes after his introduction before setting up Louie Theophanous for the winner eight minutes from time.
Scott Wilson had earlier added to his two goals at the weekend, sweeping in a right wing cross on 36 minutes, to put Weston ahead.
Thalassitis first goal was a beauty, lashed in after a cross from the left.
And a mazy run led to Theophanous’ winner, with the delight for players, management and fans very apparent.
In between you wondered if it was ever going to happen.
Weston keeper Luke Purnell made a stunning double-save, first from Charlie MacDonald then Ed Oshodi.
Thalassitis then flashed a header wide and MacDonald turned a Theophanous cross just past the post.
The winner sparked wild celebrations, matched only by those at the final whistle.
And while the win doesn’t lift City from second-bottom of the table, it gives St Albans a massive lift as they are now just five points from safety.
Weston’s first-half goal arrived as Saints enjoyed their best spell.
Harry Anderson lifted one towards goal, which was headed from under the bar, Billy Gibson forced a save from Purnell and then Theophanous took one too many touches and a defender blocked his effort.
Prior to that City had dominated with plenty of possession and territory but the visitors defence had held firm from a barrage of crosses.
Anderson in particular was enjoying plenty of freedom down the right but it seemed like the ball wouldn’t run for Saints.
As the half finished there was a moment of controversy as a Weston player seemed to lift a hand towards Sam Corcoran but no card was forthcoming.
The match ended with another flashpoint, when Gibson was floored.
This time the referee thought yellow cards were sufficient.
City: Welch, Oshodi, Bender (Thalassitis 67), Gibson, Staunton, Martin, Anderson, Corcoran, Theophanous, MacDonald, Chappell
Subs (not used): Udoji, Thomas, Locke, Edwards
Goals: Thalassitis 69, Theophanous 82
Weston: Purnell, Keary, Edge, Ingram, Pope, Fortune, McClennan, Plummer (Withey 75), Wilson, Wring (Byrne 74), Camper
Subs (not used): Llewellyn, Varouxakis
Goals: Wilson 36