Toomey at the double as Saints upset Cambridge City
LEWIS Toomey grabbed a brace and strike partner Barry Hayles netted one as St Albans City claimed an impressive 3-2 victory over title favourites Cambridge City at Clarence Park last night (Tuesday).
The hosts dominated the opening period and after a tense second half held on for their first win of the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division campaign after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Banbury United.
Cambridge began in a lively fashion and a slick passing move on the wet surface, following a pre-match downpour, saw Tom Pepper tee up Mitchell Bryant who drove straight at keeper Nick Jupp.
The home side grew into the game and full-back Chris Seeby got forward to cross for Barry Hayles whose snapshot was held by the visitors’ Spanish stopper Enol Ordonez.
Toomey and Hayles look to be forming a potent forward line partnership, and it was the deadly duo who combined for the opening goal.
Toomey found space in the box his effort was parried by Ordonez, Toomey scampered to retrieve the ball and square for Hayles to smash into the roof of the net.
At the other end Criag Hammond, who The Saints had a bid turned down for during the summer, smashed the ball out of the ground from 18 yards.
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The hosts grew as an attacking force with Sean Shields having one attempt deflected wide and James Gray heading the following Richard Graham corner over.
Cambridge struggled to create although they did have a weak penalty claim turned away as Pat Bexford went down in the box and Hammond volleyed another shot high and wide.
Five minutes before the break Jordan Patrick fizzed just off target following a Cambridge counter-attack.
However, Curtis Ujah and then Shields had efforts off target before the home side doubled their advantage.
Just before the break Toomey showed his potential with a super strike.
He received a ball from Shields with his back to goal, turned and smashed and unstoppable drive past Ordonez.
The Whites came out in determined fashion for the second half and almost immediately pulled one back as Lee Chaffey headed in James Brighton’s corner.
St Albans were gifted the chance to restore their two-goal advantage from the penalty spot after a handball in the area on 67 minutes.
Toomey tucked home the kick low to Ordonez’s right for his third goal in two league games.
Cambridge still felt like they could get something from the game and home stopper Jupp was alert to palm over a Bryant cross/shot.
The Saints’ keeper was called into action once more on 73 minutes.
He twice saved, but the third attempt was converted by Bryant to make the score 3-2.
A nailbiting 15 minutes ensued with Cambridge again being denied as Jupp tipped over a Brighton chip.
Shields was a thorn in the away team’s side all night, he was fouled and forced off the field by a Robbie Nightingale challenge in injury time.
St Albans were able to hold out and secure a terrific three points that sees them sit fifth in the table after just two league games.
St Albans are back in action at Clarence Park on Saturday as they entertain Frome Town.