Zazzera sends Midweek Youth through
Seven-goal thriller at Clarence Park
St Albans Midweek Youth 4
LAST night’s clash between St Albans and Aylesbury served up a feast of football so often lacking in non-league youth fixtures. The game had everything: goals, drama and red cards.
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The Saints Midweek Youth side have been in fine form this year, having lost one match in eight outings, and although they came into this tie as underdogs, they acquitted themselves well.
Aylesbury’s youth team won the Allied Youth Counties Central Division last season and were also finalists in the Youth League Cup. They started brightly and within 13 minutes were two-nil up courtesy of strikes by Jordan Rogers and Lynton Goss, the latter dribbling past a couple of players before finishing deftly.
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The home side were slow to respond and there were early signs of nerves in the backline whilst the fluency in attack seen in previous matches was missing. But they eventually picked up their level and showed why they have scored 33 goals in seven league outings this season.
Left back Myles Scott, who appeared for the first team in the Herts Senior Cup, made a brilliant run down the left before playing a quick one-two with Gio-Lee Baptiste and chipping Aaron White in the Aylesbury goal.
Eleven minutes later Baptise crossed for Josh Davies to head home for the equaliser and to complete a first half comeback. Freddie O’Connell then had to tip a scuffed shot from Rogers onto the post but at this point St Albans were on top.
Aylesbury continued to threaten and went close when Ollie Hogg, whose first set-piece resulted in the opener, kicked his free-kick onto the roof of the net.
However, an unexpected turn of events saw Baptiste and Aylesbury skipper Seaton receive their marching orders after the two exchanged blows. The resulting melee saw the match stopped for a few minutes whilst the referee calmed proceedings but no further bookings were given.
After the interval the match became an exhibition of attacking football as both sides pressed for an advantage and it made for an exciting game.
Substitute Tremayne Charles, returning from his recent trials with England Colleges, gave the Saints attack the pace and mobility it lacked in the first period and it was his cross for Bailey on 59 minutes that put the home side in front for the first time in the match.
But their lead was short lived with Hogg curling a beautiful free-kick into the top corner two minutes later to make it 3-3.
The game then became stretched as both teams went on the attack, sometimes forgetting their defensive duties. Goss had a shot saved before heading wide, whilst Zazzera made a few forays into the opposition box and saw his efforts saved by the ‘keeper.
St Albans committed men forward and this left them vulnerable on the counter but Aylesbury were unable to take advantage. The Saints’ midfield triangle of Harry Carr, Matt Taylor and Elliot Bailey were dictating play and coupled with Charles’ dangerous running, a goal loomed on the horizon.
But Aylesbury refused to lie down and Hercules crossed for Zack Ewers, the winger narrowly missing his header. The match seemed headed for extra-time and the stage was set for someone to be a hero.
Another short corner routine saw the ball crossed into the box and it was cleared to the edge of the area for Zazzera, who shot low into the net to send the home crowd into raptures.
St Albans City: F.O’Connell; J.Zazzera, J.Davies, L.Wroe, M.Scott; M.Taylor, H.Carr (J.Shaw 90+2), E.Bailey; G.Lee-Baptiste, J.Parke-Jude (S.Henderson 64), M.Hadji-Savva (T.Charles 45)
Aylesbury FC: A.White; L.Aquino (A.Bonham (90+2), J.Seaton, G.Tomlin, D.Feyi (A.Clark 77); K.Hercules, O.Hogg, J.Rogers; G.Rymer (A.Amadi 41), Z.Ewers, L.Goss.