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13.08.2005 at 15:00 Park View Road

Attendance : 552

Welling United

3 - 1

St Albans City

Referee : J Evamy Conference South

Danny Kedwell (45, 87)
Matt Carruthers (52)
Lee Clarke (36)
Opening squads
Jamie Turner
Lee Gledhill
Matt Lee
Steve Perkins
Chris Moore
Matt Carruthers
Rob Owen
Danny Kedwell
Adrian Clarke
James Pennock
Jamie Day
Paul Bastock
Dean Cracknell
Scott Cousins
Tom Davis
Ben Patten
Mark Graham
Paul Hakim
Lee Clarke
Anthony Allman
Chris Seeby
Patrick Ada
Lew Watts
Danny Lawson
Daniel Moore
Darren Ibrahim
Carl Kavanagh
Thomas Beech
Yohance Lewis
Ricky Perks
Nick Roddis
Daniel Moore -> Matt Carruthers (77) Nick Roddis -> Mark Graham (85)
Yellow cards
Matt Carruthers (43) Dean Cracknell (45)
Tom Davis (57)
Ben Patten (83)
Red cards
None None.
Match report

The Football Association will be delighted to learn that St Albans City kept all of their eleven players on the pitch during their opening Conference South fixture of the season on Saturday but the loss of three points to what appeared a fairly mediocre Welling United will do little to appease the Saints.
City, despite fielding two virtually untried youngsters in the centre of the defence, looked a solid unit for the opening third of the match but after surrendering their lead to a goal in time added on at the end of the first half, fell away badly after the break and can have few complaints about the defeat.
On a surprisingly chilly and ultimately wet day City made a fine start with a long punt by Paul Bastock in the third minute winning a corner off Matt Lee. Scott Cousins inswinging cross was taken off the head of the debut making Ben Patten at the last moment with Ben Graham’s corner from the opposite flank finding Paul Hakim whose looping header was gathered under the bar by Wings keeper James Turner.
St Albans first scare came when the muscular Patrick Ada sliced a clearance in his own penalty area but the ball was put behind before Danny Kedwell could pounce. Clear chances were at premium at either end with Hakim being denied an opening courtesy of Chris Moore’s excellent intervention while Bastock, with considerable assistance from Cousins, smothered the ball close in after Matt Carruthers blocked an Ada clearance with the ball ricocheting into the visitors goalmouth.
As City became increasingly threatening Lee Clarke battled well to beat two defenders only to see his low cut back to the free Dean Cracknell blocked but on 36 minutes City opened their account for the season. Graham swung a corner from the Saints left towards the near post where Clarke rose to plant a perfect header into the centre of the home goal.
Two minutes later Cracknell set up Graham for a 20-yard effort that just missed the target as all looked rosy for City in the Garden of England.
But within minutes Welling broke City’s grip on the game and the half time whistle could not come soon enough for Colin Lippiatt’s side. Ada was relieved to see referee James Evamy rule that an ugly challenge on Rob Owen was outside the penalty area but it was a sign of a growing unease in the City defence and deep into added time a neatly threaded through ball by Carruthers sent Kedwell away to slide the equalising goal wide of the advancing Bastock.
Five minutes after the interval a fine opening went unaccepted as the former Bishop’s Stortford pairing of Anthony Allman and Hakim combined only for the latter to fire past the exposed Turner but into the side netting. Two minutes later, the 52nd, Welling fully punished that miss when a Jamie Day free kick caused mayhem in the Saints defence before the almost prone Carruthers drilled in the second Wings goal from 12 yards.
In the remaining 38 minutes, despite one encouraging spell during which Tom Davis dominated proceedings, City failed to seriously threaten the home goal whilst looking vulnerable themselves when pressed. Bastock was kept busy as he dealt with shot from James Pennock and Owen but even he was helpless on 87 minutes when a Kedwell header from an Adrian Clarke corner found the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar.
Kedwell should have completed his hat trick a minute later when sent clear only to send an angled shot wide of Bastock’s goal.

Match report by Dave Tavener. Kindly supplied by The St Albans Observer.
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