Super sub Clarke was ‘game changer’ - Gray

Lee Clarke tries to extend the Saints' lead late on in the game. Picture: Leigh Page

Lee Clarke tries to extend the Saints' lead late on in the game. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

Lee Clarke drew praise from his manager after coming off the bench to inspire St Albans City to victory over Wealdstone on Saturday.

The 31-year-old was introduced to the game in place of Sean Shields with half-an-hour remaining and gave the Saints’ attack a shot in the arm. He got his name on the scoresheet 11 minutes later and then won a penalty in the 82nd minute, which John Frendo dispatched to double his tally for the day.

Speaking to Saintsnet after the game, joint manager James Gray said: “He changed the game for us. They were coming on to us a little bit at that stage - we were only 1-0 up - and I thought we could stretch them and pin them back by putting him up front.

“I thought he was full of running, energetic, nicked a few things, got a goals and a penalty for us.”

Opportunities for Clarke, who now has 93 goals for the club, have been limited but his ‘professionalism’ has shone through off the pitch and his ability has come to the fore on it when given his chance.

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“To come on a do that gives us food for thought and credit to him because he’s been waiting a while [for his chance],” said Gray.

“[Playing up front is] not a one off or a long-term plan. If we need to change [something] then it’s a option.”

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