Tigers maul timid Saints

Elliot Bailey tries to power past Warren Daw. Picture: Leigh Page

Elliot Bailey tries to power past Warren Daw. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

Truro City came away from Clarence Park with a fully deserved three points on Saturday, as the race for the play-offs took another twist.

Mark Nwokeji is unable to direct his shot goalwards. Picture: Leigh Page

Mark Nwokeji is unable to direct his shot goalwards. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

Almost immediately from kick-off, Truro demonstrated that they hadn’t travelled all the way to Hertfordshire just to enjoy the sights, when with just four minutes on the clock, Les Afful delivered a ball across the face of the area, which Jamie Lowry blasted well over the target, when in reality he should have done better.

Despite this early miss, the visitors only had to wait eleven minutes until their opening goal came. St Albans lost the ball in the centre of the field, and The Tigers broke at speed before Lowry’s cross found Cody Cooke, who hit the back of the net with a first time effort.

This start epitomised The Saints’ performance in the first half, as they failed to keep control of the ball for any significant period of time, and gifted the visitors with it on a number of occasions.

Ben Watson had another good chance for Truro, this time in the 20th minute, after Les Afull had managed to get past Ben Martin, but he could only hit his strike well over the Clarence Park end goal.

St Albans joint managers James Gray and Graham Golds made a substitution with just half an hour on the clock, bringing on Chris Henry for Richard Graham as they looked to make a change which would kick-start the Saints.

Although City did limit Truro to no further sights of goal before half time, their inability to keep control in midfield continued, with the only out-let appearing to be long balls towards the isolated Peter Dean and Elliot Bailey.

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Before the interval, there was a flash of goal for Bailey, but his spectacular over-head kick went wind of the target, and with that, the Saints went into half time a goal down, and probably glad that it wasn’t more.

Gray and Golds made their second substitution of the afternoon at half-time, with James Kaloczi coming on for Ben Martin, who was taken off as a precaution after feeling a slight niggle in his Hamstring.

The Saints came out after half-time looking brighter than they had for most of the match, and they levelled things up in 54th minute. A set-piece was cleared by the Truro backline, but the ball fell to Peter Dean, who hooked a ball over the top of the defence, and Elliot Bailey was on hand to thump a volley past Ollie Chenoweth for his second goal in two games. It’s a goal which further enhances his already rising reputation at the club.

That goal looked to be a turning point, and City almost took the lead when a long ball forward found Bailey, who controlled it and ran at the defence, before playing it to Chris Henry, but he could only curl his effort straight into the goalkeeper’s arms.

However, Chenoworth in the Truro goal played the ball well downfield ,where a wide man latched onto it, before crossing it into the St Albans area, and Green waon hand to hit a powerful strike past Paul Bastock from a tight angle, to give his side the lead again.

The final substitution for St Albans came on the hour mark, when Mark Nwokeji was introduced in place of Sam Corcoran, as they looked to try and rescue at least a point from the game.

As the clock ticked into the final twenty minutes, St Albans went forward looking for an equaliser. Both Bailey and Lee Chappell saw efforts blocked in a goal mouth scramble, while the following header from Ram Marwa went just over the bar, much to the relief of Truro.

With the pressure mounting, the best opportunity in the final ten minutes fell to substitute Mark Nwokeji who, after a sublime Elliot Bailey volley, which came crashing off of the bar, hit his first time effort high and wide of the goal.

Three minutes later, and again Nwokeji was at the heart of the action. The forward beat two defenders in the area, and hit an effort which the goalkeeper palmed towards Marwa, but the midfielder could only hit a tame effort into the body of the keeper.

With St Albans pushing for a goal and the game now into injury time, Truro won the ball and attacked with speed, again catching the home side on the break. A ball was delivered into the area, where Dan Green saw his first shot blocked by a City defender, before he buried the rebound.

There was still time for one more opportunity for the home side, but Nwokeji hit his shot across the face of goal and wide.

It was an impressive victory for The Tigers, who will go home happy, but The Saints need to pick themselves up in time for their next match away at Corby Town on Wednesday night. Kick-Off at Steel Park is 7:45pm.

St Albans line-up: Bastock; Gilbert; Chappell; Marwa; Ward; Martin; Graham; Corcoran; Bailey; Dean; Taylor. Subs: Henry; Nwokeji; Kaloczi; Hall; Green.

Truro line-up: Chenoworth; Tully; Daw; Kendall; White; Broad; Green; Lowry; Watson; Afful; Cooke. Subs: Copp; Fisher; Brokenshire; Eddy; Ash.

Attendance: 748