Supporters protest as winless run extends to six games
St Albans City chairman John Gibson subject to protest from City fans
SECOND-HALF goals from Rob Edmans and Wayne Gray made it six games without victory for St Albans City on a day when the club’s fans protested against chairman John Gibson.
This was the first time the Saints fans had the opportunity to show their displeasure following the Football Association’s decision to dock the club 10 points and, despite the first ‘Gibson Out’ chants coming bizarrely from the away fans, the home fans soon started to voice their anger albeit sporadically.
Several people confronted the chairman during the half-time interval and Mr Gibson eventually left early in the second half before a group of supporters invaded the directors’ box to continue their vocal protests.
On the pitch it was the same old story for City; Steve Castle’s side displayed plenty of endeavour but they never looked like scoring.
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Chelmsford on the other hand were able to call on the services of experienced front man Gray whose pace and power got him past the City defence on several occasions. The former Cambridge United forward should have opened the scoring on six minutes when he latched onto Adam Tann’s long ball forward but the striker shot wide of the target with just Paul Bastock to beat.
All the home side could muster in the opening 45 minutes were a couple of long range efforts from Rob Magwood that never worried James Pullen in the Chelmsford goal.
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The opening goal came 10 minutes into the second half and was highly controversial. Takumi Ake somehow managed to retain possession on the edge of the City box despite several challenges from the home defence and this allowed him to stab the ball through to Edmans. The giant forward appeared well offside but took his chance well firing under Bastock for his fifth goal of the season. Bastock was furious that the assistant had failed to flag for offside and earned a yellow card for his protests.
The goal bred confidence in the visiting ranks and they could have been two ahead had it not been for some quick thinking from Bastock. Gray bundled his way between Ben Martin and Mark Peters to get free inside the box but Bastock was quickly on the scene to dive at the feet of the forward.
The two went head to head again moments later but Gray saw his low effort saved after good work down the left by Kurt Robinson.
There was however nothing Bastock could do to stop Gray doubling Chelmsford’s advantage 11 minutes from time.
Ricky Modeste’s theatrical fall to the turf saw referee Steven Plane wrongly penalise Dave Deeney and from Matt Lock’s free kick Dave Rainford headed down for Gray to bundle home from close range.
It was a real poacher’s effort and exactly what the Saints lack as evidenced by the home side’s failure to get on the scoresheet after Inih Effiong had blazed past Tann on the wing and fed the ball across the face of goal.
With second from bottom Lewes picking up three points the Saints are now six points adrift at the foot of the Blue Square Bet South table and in danger of being left behind by the rest.
St Albans City: Bastock; Deeney, B Martin �, Peters, Smith; Dedman (Kweme 67), Everitt, Magwood, Sean Shields (A Martin 90+5); Effiong, Petrucci (O’Donoghue 87).
Subs not used: Fisher, Frater.
Chelmsford: Pullen; Nunn, Tann, El-Abd, Robinson; Lock, J Martin, Rainford �, Ake; Gray, Edmans (Modeste 62).
Subs not used: Crick, Haines, Scarlett.
Referee: Steven Plane (Perhsore, Worcs)