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03.11.2014 at 19:45 Clarence Park

Attendance : 57

St Albans City

5 - 3

Cheshunt

Referee : Ryan Atkin (Farnborough) Herts Senior Cup 1st Round

Goalscorers
John Frendo (38)
David Keenleyside (39)
John Frendo (pen.) (53)
David Keenleyside (66)
John Frendo (88)
John Megicks (18)
Adam Bolle (21)
Adam Bolle (32)
Opening squads
Joe Welch
Lee Chappell
Sam Corcoran
Lee Clarke
James Kaloczi
Omar Beckles
Matt Taylor
David Keenleyside
Danny Green
John Frendo
Nathan Peacock
Sonny Sheed-Ryan
Mete Sam
Ted Llewellyn
Lewis Payne
Milton Elenge
Ellis Sands
Luke Illsley
John Megicks
Adam Bolle
Josh Fagbohun
Josh Cooper
Substitutes
Mayson Tewkesbury
Sean Shields
Joel Watson
David Longe-King
Geoff Mitchell
Joe Clemo
James Edgerley
Allen Bossman
Substitutions
Geoff Mitchell -> Lee Clarke (65)
Allen Bossman -> John Megicks (66)
James Edgerley -> Luke Illsley (73)
Yellow cards
Sam Corcoran (25)
Lee Clarke (58)
None
Red cards
None. None
Match report


St Albans City, at three goals down, teetered on the brink of a humiliating Herts Senior Cup defeat to Cheshunt at Clarence Park on Monday, before a hat-trick by John Frendo and a brace from midfielder David Keenleyside secured a 5-3 victory over the visitors from the Isthmian League Division One North.

Frendo’s triple blast ends his most barren spell for the Saints, spanning six games, and demonstrates that, two days after turning 30, the striker’s best days are far from behind him.

City fielded a mixed side that included trialists Omar Beckles and Nathan Peacock.

Central defender Beckles has been playing for AFC Hornchurch recently, whilst Peacock had a brief spell with St Neots Town having previously played for, amongst a number of clubs, Biggleswade Town, for whom he played against St Albans last season.

Danny Green stepped in for John Kyriacou at right back while James Kaloczi was moved from the midfield to partner Beckles in the back four.

The midfield included Lee Clarke, Sam Corcoran and Matt Taylor. The last named impressed joint-manager James Gray sufficiently for him to consider rejecting Arlesey Town’s request to extend his loan period at Hitchin Road.

With the home side charging their normal full rate admission prices, the game kicked off to a virtually empty stadium and with City very much on the attack.

Inside the opening ten minutes Frendo had a low shot turned onto the post by Cheshunt keeper Sonny Sheed-Ryan.

From the ensuing corner, taken by captain for the night Lee Chappell, Sheed-Ryan flapped unconvincingly at the ball and Peacock miscued a weak shot that was blocked for another corner, this too was forced away for a corner.

The pressure was maintained as Kaloczi headed against an upright.

A goal was on the cards and it duly arrived on 18 minutes, but somewhat surprisingly it came at the opposite end of the pitch.

Picking the ball up inside the City half John Megicks ended a run with a stunning right-footed effort from around 30 yards that dipped prodigiously after sailing over home keeper Joe Welch.

Three minutes later and Cheshunt added a second quite superb goal.

Breaking up a City attack on the edge of their own penalty area, Cheshunt swept the ball out to the right to Josh Cooper.

From midway inside his own half Cooper advanced unchallenged before clipping a right-footed cross to the middle of the Hatfield Road penalty area. Adam Bolle nipped in ahead of Kaloczi to skilfully guide an excellent half volley wide of Welch.

City ought to have pulled a goal back when Frendo pounced on an error and rolled the ball across the face of the goal only for Peacock to completely miss his kick in front of goal.

Still City threatened to get back into the game but good defensive work denied Frendo.

Any prospect of a home win looked to have vanished on 32 minutes when Cheshunt, not for the first time, sprung at some speed following a City corner.

Again Megicks picked the ball up in his own half, this time on the left, and after a good run to the halfway line sent an angled pass through the City defence and into the path of the on-rushing Bolle. With great accuracy, Bolle, from around 22 yards out, lifted a first time shot over the advancing Welch for his second goal of the night.

Even allowing for the two-division gap between the clubs, Cheshunt, at 3-0 up, would have fancied their chances at this time.

Then, on 38 minutes, City began to accept their chances and within the space of 60 seconds two quick-fire goals turned the game on its head.

Sam Corcoran and David Keenleyside combined to tee up Frendo for only his second goal on home soil this season. Even rarer is the fact that it was scored with his right foot.

A minute later and Lee Chappell’s pinpoint cross-field pass found Keenleyside who, replicating Frendo, controlled the ball superbly before firing into the York Road net from 15 yards.

St Albans now looked to go in level at the break and Sheed-Ryan flicked away a Chappell cross before it fell under the crossbar, seconds later Keenleyside fired just over the target.

Cheshunt went close to reasserting a two-goal lead when Josh Fagbohun’ shot bounced just wide of Joe Welch’s goal.

Eight minutes into the second half Cheshunt’s lead evaporated completely when Taylor went for a pass by Peacock but was barged to the ground by Lewis Payne, who conceded a penalty in the process.

Frendo’s trusty left foot sent Sheed-Ryan the wrong way from the resulting penalty to restore parity.

Before the game could restart referee Mark Mellor reacted to a succession of comments from Cheshunt manager Glen Alzapiedi and despatched him from the dug-out.

Alzapiedi’s outburst came on the back of the penalty decision and also anger resulting from seeing three of his side sent off when Mr Mellor took charge of a Cheshunt match at Harlow last month.

Cheshunt’s problems hardly eased when Lee Clarke – scorer of the only goal when these sides last met in the county cup ten years ago – made way for Geoff Mitchell on 65 minutes.

Seconds after coming on the big striker forced Sheed-Ryan to dive low to his left to concede a corner following a shot on the turn that took a deflection.

From Chappell’s in-swinging corner Keenleyside rose in front of Payne to emphatically head home his second goal of the night, as City moved into a 4-3 lead.

Having failed to score in their previous two matches, St Albans were keen to keep pressing forward and went close with Sheed-Ryan saving from Peacock, while Frendo fired just over.

But Frendo was not to be denied his first hat-trick of the season and second during his time with the Saints.

A patient build up involving several players sliced through Cheshunt and when Corcoran played the ball forward Frendo, with a cushioned pass, helped it out to the right to Green.

Green slid a return pass into the path of Frendo whose clean first touch sent the ball speeding to the right of the diving keeper to ensure that Cheshunt’s wait for a win at Clarence Park would extend to beyond 25 years.

Frendo almost completed his second four-goal haul for St Albans only to be thwarted by Payne’s excellent goal-line clearance, and Corcoran went close from distance with a shot that bounced through a crowded penalty area.

St Albans will be away to King’s Langley in the 2nd Round on a date yet to be decided.
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