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24.02.2001 at 15:00 Clarence Park

Attendance : 436

St Albans City

1 - 0

Slough Town

Referee : Ray Ward Ryman Premier League

Robbie Simpson (30)
Opening squads
Andy Walker
Mark Rooney
Corey Campbell
Richard Goddard
Steve Blaney
Danny Davis
Gary Wraight
Neville Roach
Ben Andrews
Spencer Knight
Robbie Simpson
Steve Mautone
Garry Cross
Chris Allen
Chris White
Keith McPherson
Steve Stott
Paul Barrowcliff
Mark Hall
Paul Coombs
Steve Black
Paul Holsgrove
Richard Hurst
Francis Birch
David Pratt
Graham Kemp
Andrew Deaner
Junior Haynes
David Pratt -> Danny Davis (45)
Junior Haynes -> Chris White
Graham Kemp -> Steve Black
Yellow cards
Corey Campbell (99)
Red cards
None. None
Match report
The entertainment value may have been as low as the bitterly cold temperatures on Saturday but the St Albans City smiles were as bright as the winter sunshine which engulfed Clarence Park as the Saints, on the back of a fine finish by Robbie Simpson, scored their first home Ryman League goal of the New Year and simultaneously chalked up their first home Premier Division victory since before Christmas.
With their third consecutive win over Slough Town the Saints successfully staved off their 10th home Ryman League defeat of the season and not only achieved their first double over the Rebels but also their first of the current season. The goal which settled a dour tussle was a delight as Neville Roach, playing against one of his former clubs, added an exquisite touch to Danny Davis' pass to find Simpson. The former Spurs and Portsmouth striker cut a couple paces across the edge of the penalty area before beating Rebels keeper Steve Mautone with a placed left-footed shot low to the Australian keeper's left for his sixth goal of the season.
Simpson had also been involved in the first goal threat by either side in the 16th minute when his pass found Gary Wraight but the midfielder's effort flew comfortably high and wide. As if to make Wraight feel a little better fellow midfielder Steve Blaney, who can strike the ball with great power and accuracy, aroused no shortage of amusement around the ground with three efforts during the course of the game which caused far more concern to the corner flags than they did to Mautone's goal.
On 20 minutes Slough, whose finishing was equally dire, tested young City keeper Andy Walker through Gary Cross' ball towards the near post which Walker, on his home debut, needed two attempts to smother as Paul Coombs closed in. Two minutes later a defensive slip let in Blaney who carefully took aim only to see the ball bounce wide off Mautone's outstretched legs.
City hit a purple patch around the half hour mark firstly through Simpson's goal and then from a Blaney cross Simpson had a downward header saved by Mautone.
After the interval Slough enjoyed a greater share of the play but seldom gave the impression of being able to improve upon their miserable return of 12 goals from 15 away Premier Division matches. Walker comfortably dealt with a long range effort from Steve Black before the Saints, midway through the half, were denied when Mautone did well to block Corey Campbell's point blank header from a Spencer Knight corner.
Mautone, already in some discomfort as the part of his anatomy which blocked Roach's header is rarely used in such circumstances, was put under pressure from two quick fire back passes, from the second of which he was dispossessed by Simpson. The keeper managed to force Simpson wide before the City striker showed a lack of composure and eventually sent the ball sailing away into the park.
One goal always appeared ample to secure the points but two minutes into added time Slough almost rescued a draw when a sliced defensive clearance handed possession back to the visitors but the Rebels had to accept the inevitable as Walker dived to smother Keith McPherson's header.

Report by Dave Tavener
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