Saints happy to escape Kent with a point after poor showing at Tonbridge

Zane Banton had St Albans City's best chance in the second half at Tonbridge Angels.

Zane Banton had St Albans City's best chance in the second half at Tonbridge Angels. - Credit: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO

St Albans City left Kent and Tonbridge Angels with a point but they will know they need to be much better next time out - in the FA Cup second round at Boreham Wood.

The 0-0 draw was anything but a classic but the home side had the best chances and but for some poor finishing they would have handed Saints a third successive league defeat.

The visitors to Longmead never found their rhythm and bar a few rare forays forward, they never really threatened.

The point and clean sheet therefore will be seen as the positives they are and the result puts them back into the play-off places in National League South.

A big week awaits them on the training paddock though.

Manager Ian Allinson made three changes from the win over Oxford City, recalling Mitchell Weiss, Zane Banton and Dave Diedhiou for Liam Sole, Bailey Brown and Liam Sole.

But while the temperature had increased noticeably since Saturday, there was little to warm the watching fans, of both sides.

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Romeo Akinola had a shot straight at Jonathan Henly while Shaun Jeffers took a touch and had an effort blocked but there was precious little else from Saints in terms of an attacking point of view.

Mind, Tonbridge were equally poor up front. Tommy Wood had their two best opportunities, the first after a slack header back to Coniah Boyce-Clark forced the on-loan Reading keeper to block bravely.

The second was the best one after good work by Ricky Modeste down the right. The cross was inch perfect and directly onto Wood's head but instead of powering it towards goal, he got underneath it and headed it up.

The Angels nine also picked up a yellow card after colliding late with Diedhiou, and was perhaps fortunate not to see a card of a darker hue.

But that was the over-riding description of the first half - a niggly affair that had players moaning to officials more often than playing any sort of football.

Certainly there was nothing in the first 45 that would have worried the watching Boreham Wood manager Luke Garrard.

That didn't really change after the interval either.

Tonbridge did start the second period with much more intent but after 10 minutes that had waned, and without anything to bother the Saints keeper, and City had gained some semblance of control again.

They were still shot shy though and could only muster an effort from Banton that was pushed away by a Henly.

Tonbridge's best attacking moments generally came down the right with young Alex Lankshear given a torrid time by Ricky Modeste.

It was the other flank that almost brought an instant impact from substitute Ibrahim Olutade though.

He connected with  Aaron Smith-Joseph's low driven cross but not enough and it continued on its way across goal.

A lack of a proper connection also kept the game goal-less when a cross from Modeste found Joe Turner in front of goal. He flashed his head at it but again it rolled wide of goal.

The best chance came though came in the 89th minute when a quick break put Turner in on goal with just Boyce-Clark to beat.

Somehow though he managed to hit the ball with his standing foot as he was preparing to shoot and the effort was pushed behind by the keeper.

St Albans City: Boyce-Clark, Wiltshire (Noble 72), Akinola (Brown 72), Jeffers, Bsnton, Diedhiou, Dawson, Weiss (Sole 90), Lankshear, Adebiyi, Mukena.

Subs (not used): Bender, Clark.

Booked: Dawson 18

Tonbridge Angels: Henly, O'Sullivan, Braham-Barrett, Loft, Miles, Parkinson (Hudson 46), Modeste, Beere, Wood (Olutade 69), Smith-Jospeh (Embery 78), Turner.

Subs (not used): Fielding, Woodhouse.

Booked: Wood 45, Loft 56

HT: Tonbridge Angels 0 St Albans City 0

Referee: Richie Watkins (Nuneaton)