In slumping to a second four-goal drubbing inside five days St Albans City not only missed an opportunity to leap to the top of the Conference South but also suffered their heaviest defeat at Gander Green Lane for ten years.
Working on possession and efforts on goal this was a game City could have won but in looking vulnerable at the back and toothless in attack the writing was on the wall once John Rains side went ahead on six minutes to launch their own, successful, bid to replace Histon at the table’s summit.
Both sides created little prior to the break but when City began the match with just three at the back there were gaping gaps waiting to be explored and Tony Quinton, in the sixth minute, was first to benefit as he headed home from a Luke Cornwall cross.
Cornwall, ineffective during a brief spell with the Saints last season, had a fine game and also created the second goal in the 24th minute when he crossed to the back post for the incoming Quinton to smartly tuck home his second goal of the afternoon.
After the interval City dominated possession but seldom did they look capable of scoring for the first time in three games.
Sutton, defeated in three of their previous four Conference South matches, put the game beyond City’s reach on 54 minutes with Eddie Akuamoah firing in from close range after Quinton had helped on a Paul Honey corner.
Four minutes later United went down to ten men when Geoff Pitcher picked up a second yellow card for stupidly throwing the ball into the face of Tom Davis, it seemed strange that he did not receive a straight red. Davis was rounded booed, totally without justification, by the home support thereafter and indeed he and the excellent Nick Roddis were by far City’s best performers on the day.
Simon Martin squandered a good chance when kneeing wide from close in an Anthony Allman free kick before Paul Bastock produced an outstanding double save to thwart both the gangly Danny Ekoku and Matt Gray.
City then exerted no shortage of pressure on the home defence but their finishing fell well short of that expected from the side that began the day as the leagues highest scorers. Davis, from 20 yards, struck the angle of post and crossbar after being set up by Scott Cousins and Hakim while the latter also forced Wilson into a fine save from a well directed header.
Sutton secured their biggest home league win for 18 months on 78 minutes with a glorious goal as Ekoku headed on a long kick from Wilson for Cornwall to beat Bastock with a stunning volley that looped over the keepers head and straight into the goal.
In the remaining time City created a good number of chances but the destiny of the points had long since been decided.
Match report by Dave Tavener. Kindly supplied by The St Albans Observer.