City v St Albans City Preview

After their disappointing exit from the FA Cup last Saturday City now have six matches in which to improve on their league position of 15th before the FA Trophy begins for them next month.

First up are St Albans City who make the trip to Twerton Park on Saturday. There was a time when the Hertfordshire club would have been seen as ideal opponents to start a winning run as they had a dreadful record here. City gained 19 points from their first seven visits dating from 2007 and only conceded a single goal!

However, that all changed in 2019 when The Saints stormed to a 3-0 victory. And it was a case of lightning striking twice just ten months later when Ian Allinson’s team repeated the scoreline. Both wins avenged City victories at Clarence Park earlier in those seasons but perhaps it was no bad thing that St Albans were one of the many clubs who never headed west in the curtailed season of 2020/21!

Saturday’s visitors have made a start to the present season which is in marked contrast to our own. They had a very tough pair of opening matches and fell to both Dartford and Dorking but have since been unbeaten. They presently sit in 6th position with 13 points from their seven matches which include wins at Slough and Braintree. They are very reliant on the goals of Shaun Jeffers who has bagged 12 in his 13 appearances.

The Saints safely negotiated the first two qualifying matches in the Cup, knocking out Concord Rangers and Metropolitan Police and, like City, faced opponents from one level below last Saturday. It looked like Ryman League Corinthian Casuals would be causing a similar upset to the one at Banbury and it took a dramatic last second equalizer for St Albans to take the two teams back to Clarence Park for Tuesday’s replay.

City supporters’ wish that this replay would go to extra time and penalties was granted and the Saints finally booked their first round meeting with Forest Green Rovers in a penalty shoot-out.

To see if City can get back to winning ways against possibly exhausted opponents please get along to Twerton this Saturday and remember that you can buy your tickets in advance.