After 3 games on the road, it's back to Clarence Park for the visit of Northwood. Promoted this season, Wood have yet to find consistency and they sit one place below City in the League. Among their ranks are former Saints, Christian Metcalf and Chris Elsegood.
Steve Castle is ringing the changes. Rumoured to be on his way to Carshalton is Nic McDonnell and City welcomed back last season's PotS, Gary Crawshaw. Two keepers have been signed, 19 year old George Clark from Cambridge United and Wayne Jackman from Waltham Forest. Corey Campbell is back from injury and Derek Brown home from abroad.
The team today was Clark in goal, 4 at the back: Gledhill, Brown (C), De Souza and Campbell, 4 in the middle: Murray, Wraight, Seeby and Perfect, and up front: Crawshaw and Martin. On the bench: himself, Cross, Deacon, Oxby and Jackman.
A lot more effort and commitment than we have seen for a while from City in the first half against an over robust Northwood side although neither keeper was tested as the game seemed confined to the middle third of the pitch. Gledhill suffered a groin injury midway through the half and was replaced by Deacon who more than played his part.
The Saints scored 3 times in 13 second-half minutes. The first came after a sweeping move across from left to right from Seeby to Martin to Murray to Deacon whose deep cross was headed back by Martin for Murray to head firmly past the visiting keeper. 1-0. 10 minutes later it was 2 when Crawshaw harried the defender on the edge of the box, won the ball which fell to Deacon who hit a snap shot past the surprised Bullivant. 2-0. Two minutes later it was 3. A loose ball fell between two defenders and the keeper and Martin nipped in to flick the ball home from close range. 3-0.
Oxby was on for Wraight and Cross for Crawshaw and Saints were in control playing the ball on the ground through the midfield. The youngsters were shining and more goals could have come.
Northwood rallied and pressed during the last 15 minutes. The visitors were awarded a penalty and Clark, who has a record of 7 saves from his last 10 penalties faced began his routine. He's not small and he sidesteps from post to post along the line at pace. The disconcerted Sargeant shot tamely and the record is now 8 from 11. A few minutes later, Clark made a great save at full stretch and is set to become a City favourite and will be very pleased with his City debut. F.T. 3-0.
This was a much improved performance from The Saints. Solid at the back, playing good football in the midfield with Crawshaw holding the ball well up front with good support from the youngsters who never tired. Northwood are an over-physical side who created several chances late in the game but City were very good value for all three points. The sponsor's Men of the Match (?) were Murray and De Souza. The crowd was 358 with very few up from Northwood.
Entertainment 7/10. Technical Merit 8/10. Referee 3/10. Atmosphere 5/10.
Match report by Homer