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Herts FA News

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Match Reports 2004/05

ST ALBANS CITY YOUTH F.C

Sunday Youth Team Match Reports

Season 2004/05

Please note, due to the increased number of City Youth teams taking to the field this season we can only publish those match reports that have been sent in by e-mail.  

 

15th May 2005

Under 12's

Great result for 12's East

The U12 East boys faced a strong Edmonton Rangers team and put in a stirring performance to beat their hosts 3-1 that keeps their hopes of a top two finish alive with one league match to play.

In a must-win game, treated as a cup-tie the line-up reflected the match's importance with Louis McNamara reverting to right fullback to counteract Edmonton's dangerous striker whilst Kieran Donovan started his first match as centreback in the absence of Jacob who was out with a twisted ankle (be warned - jumping off the footbridge in Greenwood Park and putting your foot in a rabbit hole is not a good idea). A good solid start was required and that's what we got with Dean Kemp and Max O'Shea winning balls in the midfield, and James Lowthian and Lee Close probing the flanks to expose the fullbacks and create half-chances for the City strikers. It was from one of these half-chances that the opener came from on 15 minutes after determined play by James on the left got the ball to Aidan Fortune who then played a defence splitting ball into the path of Goro Nishioka. Goro bravely got to the ball first and made no mistake with his shot, which was guided past the advancing keeper and into the left hand corner of the goal. Five minutes later and it was two nil, when Edmonton gave away a freekick in the centre of the park at least 35 yards from goal. Edmonton probably thought there was little danger when Charlie Hunter powered the ball towards goal but it dipped at the last moment over the keeper and struck the underside of the bar to bounce over the line. Great strike, great goal! In the next few minutes City had a chance for a third when a goal-line scramble saw a deflection on to the bar again, but from a cleared corner and Edmonton struck back with a counter-attack on the stroke of half-time when their dangerman struck from deep and beat 'almost unstoppable' keeper Tom Coulton with a scuffed shot.

In the second half City kept up the pressure with several strikes on goal and fine defensive play from Eddie Gray and Will Northage, but it wasn't until 5 minutes from the end when we could all breathe a bit more easily when Dean Kemp got the ball on the edge of the box and hammered in a 'Bobby Charlton like' (Bobby who?) net buster into the top of the net. In the dying minutes Mark Wilson almost created a goal out of nothing but no-one got could get a foot to his cross which went across the face of the goal. Overall a solid performance with man of the match going to Kieran Donovan for his strong challenges in the centre of defence and Tom Coulton who pulled off many important saves with his hands and feet throughout the match.

U12 East: Coulton; McNamara, Donovan, Hunter, Gray (Northage); Close, Kemp, O'Shea, Lowthian; Nishioka, Fortune (Wilson). 

Under 11's

First Trophy for 11's West 

A very hot day at Sun Postal saw the Under 11 West win their first Trophy. Playing in white the young Saints got off to a very solid start Laurie Blow was causing Harvesters lots of problems down the left and Harvey Scott and Toby Sakata kept them busy in the middle. Carl Palin put in a strong performance on the Right wing and was unfortunate not to break the dead lock following up a loose ball in the box. The defence of Captain James Pellington, Chris Hudson, George Guest and Jake Deacon were very impressive dealing with every Harvesters attack well. Some great saves from Matthew Rodford also helped calm Citys final nerves. David Towndrow did some good work on the left not allowing Harvesters to settle. Dom Oliver man marked George Hunter to great effect. Our game plan seemed to be working with City having far more of the match. The first half ended 0-0.

The second half saw Tom Pugh working hard upfront trying to force Harvesters into an error at the back. Still Laurie was pressuring down the left but the all important first goal was hard to find. Ben Attewell came on and battled hard as did Ben Lee. Finally the breakthrough came after a neat pass from Harvey. Laurie was not going to miss his chance.1-0 on 55 minutes. Harvesters then reorganised and looked like they may push forward but still the defence and midfield held strong. Will Jacobs nearly found himself in a shooting position and played well.  More teamwork, and a shot from an impossible angle by Toby, found the net. 2-0. With one minute to go the match was won.

Man of the match went to Captain James Pellington who had been solid throughout the game. The team were presented with the trophy and their medals by G Hardy the President of the Watford Friendly League. Well played City.

Click on pictures for full size images.

8th May 2005

Under 12's

George Walker Trophy

OVER £1600 was raised for the Neurotrauma Educational Fund when St Albans City South Under-12's took on their West counterparts in the annual George Walker Memo­rial Trophy match at Clarence Park last Tuesday (May 3).

In front of a large crowd, South started strongly and went ahead early in the half when Joseph Bozier drove the ball home from ten yards.

 

The lead was doubled soon after when Michael Hill raced clear and slotted past the West keeper. South continued to create the better chances but was unable to add to the score during the remainder of the half. Maybe it was down to an inspired half-time team talk but the early second half exchanges were dominated by West and they reduced the deficit after a cross-cum-shot by Cole Beels-Ejjayna evaded the South defence and Jon Mallaburn was on hand to tap in at the back post.

Soon after it would have been 2-2 had it not been for a superb acrobatic save by South keeper Alex Cobb from a curling free kick. This though proved to be the turning point of the game and man-of-the-match Hill completed his hat-trick with two late goals to make the filial score 4-1 to City South.

During 21 seasons of stag­ing such charity games, the young Saints for a diverse range of charities have donated many thousands of pounds.

 

 

Fantastic finish to a fantastic season

The U12 girls played their final match of the season against local rivals Harvesters in the Herts Girls League Plate final. Having already won the County Cup and come runners up in the 2nd Division the girls were desperately keen to finish the season with victory in the plate final. Their opponents Harvesters from the top division seemed to have been hitting good form in the second half of the season so a good game was in prospect.
The first ten minutes were nearly all St Albans pressure with Megan Wynne coming closest to breaking the deadlock when she cut in from the left and saw her shot drift inches wide of the far post.
In Harvesters first really menacing attack of the half a swift breakaway saw their lively striker push the ball pass Lucy Hancock to make the score 1-0. The girls were slightly shell shocked for a few minutes and Harvesters began to exert more pressure. However following a Harvesters attack Megan Wynne picked up the ball in her own half beat three or four player down the right side of the pitch cut inside to beat another before scoring one of the goals of the season.
This gave the girls a real lift and shortly after a shot from Hayley Ladd was almost converted by Grace Lewis. St Albans were shading the game although Harvester were looking dangerous with one of their strikers continuously changing from the one side of the pitch to the other and giving the girls real problems. From one of these Harvesters attacks Lucy Hancock made an excellent save diverting a goal bound shot round the post.
With Half time approaching Harvesters scored their second goal to leave them 2-1 at the break.
The second half saw a defensive reorganisation, with Erin Fogarty injured Hayley Ladd moved into defence to man match the most dangerous Harvester player. St Albans began the half in good spirits and were level within a few minutes. A long throw from Megan Wynne freed Winnie Wallace, who's pace took her past the Harvesters defence. She then finished expertly to make the score 2-2.
St Albans began to exert more pressure and looked the more likely team to score. Winnie had another chance befre Michaella Fleming burst through the middle, and was almost brought down on the edge of the box. However she managed to stay on her feet. She pushed the ball into the box. Both she and the Harvesters keeper went for the ball and were injured the ref who'd played advantage brought the game back for the previous offence.
After some treatment the Harvesters keeper had to be taken off. Michaella then stepped up to take the free kick and put an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net to make the score 3-2. Five minutes later Grace Lewis broke down the right and put in a fantastic cross which Winnie Wallace converted to make the score 4-2.
Harvesters pushed forwards in the last ten minutes but St Albans held firm to win the U12 Plate, and end what has been a fantastic season on a real high.
The whole team played really well. In defence Lucy Hancock made a couple of crucial saves. Lucy Mann and Rachel Sherlow played really well at left and right back, as did Abbie Mann when she came on. All three made some excellent tackles and distributed the ball really well. In the middle of defence Erin Fogarty had an excellent game before being injured, Megan Shaw had a really commanding performance with some crucial last minutes tackles and Hayley Ladd did a fantastic job of mad marking Harvesters most dangerous player, who hardly had a kick in the second half. In midfield Josie Green and Michaella Fleming held the centre together really well Grace Lewis had an excellent game on both the Left and right side of midfield, as did Hannah Ford up front and then left midfield. Alea Brooke also gave 100% effort when she came on. Up front Winnie Wallace had a great game with a couple of cool finishes and pace that worried Harvesters throughout, whilst Megan Wynne was a constant threat, and ran herself into the ground.
This was an excellent final played in a really good spirit. Both teams should be congratulated for providing a really entertaining game.
Megan Wynne and Michaella Fleming shared the player of the match award, for two special goals and also for their non stop workrate. Megan Shaw and Hayley Ladd pushed them very close with fantastis defensive displays.

Chances missed

West missing a few key players looked unsettled from the start and a few errors were punished every time leaving them 4 down after just 15 minutes. West  then settled and even started to threaten with some good through balls from Ryan Rickard  and Charlie Rainsford and for the last 5 minutes really began to battle and to be first to the ball. However Edson constantly worked the offside trap and some poor linesman decisions frustrated West.  The second half saw a much better performance and Matt Peckham's rebounded effort was pounced on by Cole Beels after 5 minutes to pull one back.  Man of the match Carl Biggs had an excellent second half at the back and set off some good runs down the left but West failed to capitalise on at least 4 very good chances.  Edson had few chances in the second half but unlike West took them adding 2 to their tally before Cole won the ball and slotted his second home. A poor start but had West taken their chances and not got caught offside so often it could have been much closer.  

1st May 2005

Match report from the City Youth Highfield Fundraising day at Clarence Park.

Under 18's

U18 West   5    Hemel Hempstead Town 1     

Ferdinand, Clark (2),

 James, Patterson

West made the most of the excellent playing surface at Clarence Park to put on a superb show of flowing, passing football against the County Cup Winners.  They took the lead after four minutes, when Bailey chased down a lost cause and determinedly beat the Hemel defender before crossing to give Ferdinand a tap in a the front post.  Hemel equalised on 20 minutes with a 30 yard shot, after the West midfield had failed to pickup tightly enough.  But West were back in front within 30 seconds, Clark volleying home superbly after a crisp passing move of nine passes.

For the rest of the half it was one way traffic as West’s pace really began to tear Hemel apart.  Tegana James, again having an outstanding match, grabbed the third, and Kurtis Patterson got the next after yet another delightful move involving seven West players.

In the second period Hemel tightened up and made it more difficult for West to play, but the chances kept coming as Jaravaza and Patterson worked tirelessly down the flanks.  Ferdinand had one disallowed, and then crashed a wonderful shot against the bar, again following a brilliant pacey attack down the left.  The fifth and final goal went to Clark, set up by excellent individual skill from James and Jaravaza. 

In the last fifteen minutes West turned on exhibition stuff, keeping the ball and switching the play from one flank to the other.  When the players in this squad turn in on like this, no side at this age group can live with them.  Tegana James was a top star of the star-studded performance.

On Wednesday West play Southgate Adelaide, and need to win to clinch runner-up spot in the league, and then West will play Garston United in the final at Sun Postal Sports, on Sunday 15 May.  On this form , the season should end on a high note.

Team:  Kosky; Phillips, Hawes, Smith; Bailey, Tillbrook, Clark, Lock (Patterson), Jaravaza; Ferdinand, James.    

U18 West   9    Cassiobury Clarets  1     

Smith, Tillbrook

Clark (2), Ferdinand (3)

Patterson, Gray

West swept aside Cassiobury Clarets to gain a place in the Spring Cup final, despite starting the match without a goalkeeper (after traffic chaos in St Albans delayed Kosky’s arrival).  Playing flowing, pacey football, West took the lead from a Max Gray corner, headed home by Smith.  Tillbrook then poked a shot home after the Clarets keeper dropped a cross.  Clarets then pulled one back after Kosky failed to clear from a corner, but within a minute Gray had headed in West’s third from a Hawes free-kick.  Patterson, Clark and Ferdinand added further goals before half-time. In the second period, Ferdinand completed his hat-trick, and Clark added the best goal of the game after a fluid passing move to complete the 9-1 victory.

West will play Garston United in the final at Sun Postal Sports, on Sunday 15 May.

Team:  Phillipps (Kosky, 28); Bailey, Hawes, Smith; Godden, Tillbrook, Clark, Jaravaza (Anderson, 65), Gray; Ferdinand, Patterson.    

Under 13's

Best display of the season

The last game of the season against Garston and the girls put on their best display.  A great team performance that saw them raise their game to the required level.  The scoreline does not do the performance justice.  With better finishing they could have been 2-0 up after 25 minutes before Garston scored with their first real shot on target.  Instead it was Garston who ended the half 2-0 up.  Tiredness and a lack of concentration led to more goals being leaked as Garston dominated in the second half.  However the girls rallied at the end and finished as they began and Jane Jardine put the icing on the cake with the final goal after hitting a post earlier.

All thirteen played at close to their best and it was difficult to choose a single player.  Christina Berkeley has been a revelation in her new role in central defence and took the player of the match for her inspirational performance.  “Why finish the season now?”  was the mood afterwards.  Just as we are just starting to perform.

Under 12's

Girls reach final of U12 Plate competition

The U12 girls reached the final of the plate competition with a convincing 2-1 victory against Luton Town Belles.

On a hot day St Albans started off the better team, and after 5 minutes a long throw from Megan Wynne, released Winnie Wallace who outpaced the Luton defence, and ran 40 yards to score in the corner.
St Albans continued to press and after 10 minutes Megan Wynne hit a post after a strong run. Grace Lewis just failed to tap in the rebound.
Hannah Ford came close after 15 minutes, whilst at the other end despite determined Luton attacks the St Albans defence held firm.

The second half saw more of the same with St Albans taking the game to Luton. Again the girls had a number of chances with Hannah Ford going close on a couple of occasions. However as the game wore on there was still the feeling that the girls needed a second goal to kill the game off. Josie Green came closest with a header against the bar.

With six minutes to go another St Albans attack saw Grace Lewis cross for Sam May to finish at the far post.

With two minutes to go Luton scored an excellent long range goal, but St Albans held out for a well deserved victory.

This was a hard fought game, where credit should go to all the girls. Luton were really committed and anything less than 100% effort could have seen the game slip away. As it was the better team won on the day. This was an excellent team performance where everyone really put in maximum effort. Michaela Fleming and Lucy Mann were outstanding in defence.

Player of the match was Winnie Wallace who had a great game up front.

3 Points

Fresh from their Clacton triumph the U12 East boys kept up their League title hopes with a workmanlike 2-1 victory over Borehamwood 2000 at Francis Bacon, despite illness and injuries.

Playing down the slope St Albans had the early pressure and took the lead after 10 minutes when Dean Kemp's corner was headed up in the air by Louis McNamara and Goro Nishioka turned it in the net with a spectacular overhead bicycle kick. From this point Borehamwood 2000 quickly got back into the match and they soon levelled the scores when the ball wasn't cleared out of the centre of defence and a looping shot beat Coulton in goal, who then had to make a further two saves with his legs before half-time. The second half should have been more difficult but James Lowthian and Dean Kemp started to take control in the middle of the park whilst Charlie Hunter marshalled fullbacks George Bullock and Will Northage admirably to create a solid platform. Several chances were created but it took a bit of oriental luck to win the points, the winner coming when the keeper's clearance cannoned off a charging Goro's boot and into the top corner from 15 yards. Special mention to Aidan Fortune who comfortably played out the last 10 minutes in the unfamiliar role of centreback.

The win puts the East boys on 36 points with two matches to play, although Harvesters North are breathing down their necks with games in hand. 

U12 East: Coulton; Bullock, Gray (Fortune), Hunter, Northage; McNamara, Donovan (Lowthian), Kemp, O'Shea; Nishioka, Close. 

 

12's East Mitre Champs

St Albans City Youth U12 East had an unforgettable time at the Mitre Cup Tournament held in Clacton over the May Bank Holiday. The tournament was run over two days with five teams taking part in a league format (matches of 20 minutes each way) and the top two going through to the final.

 

The first match for City was against Aylesbury Town but after 4 minutes a sliced clearance saw keeper Tom Coulton come quickly off his line to intercept the ball. Despite getting his hand to it first the striker tumbled and a penalty was given, which was converted. In reply St Albans' slowly upped the tempo and a Lee Close goal was disallowed for offside before the scores were equalised on half-time. Some mesmeric skills from James Lowthian in the left hand corner left his marker for dead and a firm Goro Nishioka glancing header from James' cross beat the keeper. In the second half Aylesbury didn't get out of their half and Kieran Donovan coolly controlled a Dean Kemp corner to slot home the winner. By the afternoon of the first day the sun came out, the temperature increased and St Albans faced Brentwood & Firebird who earlier had beaten a handy Carillion JFC team 3-0. Although Brentwood's players were considerably taller St Albans took the game to them and controlled the match from start to finish, but despite a Charlie Hunter freekick and Lee Close flick striking the crossbar, the match finished goalless much to B&F's relief.

An early start on the second day and a lack of sleep due to post-midnight antics didn't show when the boys faced group minnows Tempest FC as they romped away to a 7-0 win. First half goals came from Goro (hat-trick), Lee (header), James (long range strike) and an own goal, whilst Tom playing out on the pitch hammered in the seventh after half-time. Credit and praise to Tempest from Colchester, who kept going all tournament in the face of more experienced opposition. Carillion JFC from Bexley, were the last team to be faced in the group matches and they knew that they had to win to reach the final at City's expense. Never ones to sit back on their laurels City bombarded their goal in each half and with shot after shot going narrowly wide or cleared off the line, and the supporter's nerves started to build as they knew that a single breakaway could seal the boys fate. Thankfully it wasn't to be as Lee Close raced away down the left-hand side, cut inside to beat the keeper and shot home, before Goro powered through or the second, 2-0.

 

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

GD

St Albans City Youth East

4

3

1

0

11

1

10

10

Brentwood & Firebird FC

4

3

1

0

10

0

10

10

Carillion JFC

4

2

0

2

7

6

6

1

Aylesbury Town

4

1

0

3

5

10

3

-5

Tempest FC

4

0

0

4

1

17

0

-16

   

 A 45 minute rest and the boys faced B&F in the final to settle their earlier goalless encounter, and a fantastic team spirit helped some very weary legs out on the pitch. This time the opposition were a bit more attack minded but the resolute defence of Ryan Maher, Jacob Wroe, Charlie Hunter and Will Northage coped admirably to limit B&F to a single weak header which Tom Coulton calmly scooped up. City won several corners and it was from one of these won by flying right winger Louis McNamara which settled the match. Dean Kemp stepped up to deliver the perfect ball to the near post and Goro timed his run to the millisecond to outleap the much taller defenders and his stunning header screamed past a shocked keeper. In the closing minutes Aidan Fortune kept the ball well in advanced positions in B&F's half to run down the clock for a well-deserved triumph.

 

After the post-match champagne celebration all the squad plus Laurence Wroe, Jack McNamara, Hal Maher and Team Manager Simon Wroe were presented with individual and an enormous European Cup style trophy by Sir Trevor Brooking at the Evening Reception. Overall a great weekend - good weather, good fun, hi-jinks and fantastic football.  

 

Under 11's

Excellent draw for 11's West

St Albans City U11 West drew 2 - 2 with League winners Alexandra Park after a spirited comeback. The first half started with an almost immediate penalty given against us for a late tackle in the box. Alexandra Park sent the ball straight down the middle and stand in keeper Toby Sakata saved well only to watch as the rebound was knocked in. The young saints put on pressure to make up for the lost goal but couldn't find a reply then some quick passing from Alexandra Park put them 2 - 0 ahead. The defence of James Pellington, George Guest, Ben Attewell and Chris Hudson stood up very well. Their training work on stopping the break away goal was paying off and although Alexandra Park have the fastest strikers they kept their runs covered. The first half ended 2 - 0. They did not let their heads drop and started the second half more determined than the first. Within Three minutes David Towndrow put City back on track with lovely finish from a Ben Lee cross. This spurred City into action and  Harvey Scott left their midfield and defence standing as he ran through and shot unluckily just clipping the cross bar. George Guest made an importnat goal line clearance and Toby Sakata pulled off some great saves. Just as the game looked like it may end with a 2 - 1 loss Harvey Scott broke free from a Dominic Oliver pass and netted the equaliser. Joe Crawshaw in the midfield once again had an energetic game never giving up and winning possesion back a lot of the time. This was a great performance considering a lot of players were away. Man of the match goes to Toby Sakata but Joe Crawshaw and Harvey Scott also deserve a special mention for their effort.

 

Following on from last weeks match report the U11 West have qualified for Thomas Hardy cup final on May 15th, well done everyone.

 

24th April 2005

Under 18's

West on top in club derby

A slow start by West saw them fall behind within two minutes.  Lucas glided past two weak challenges and crossed to the far post where the unmarked Meija volleyed past Kosky.  The goal woke up the sluggish West midfield, who quickly got on top.  The equaliser came on nine minutes, Hawes playing an excellent ball out of defence to Gray, whose first touch created the space for a defence-splitting pass to James. West’s lightening-quick forward skipped over the challenge and neatly placed the ball into the corner of the net. 

With Tillbrook now settling into his holding role in midfield, Clark and Jaravaza dominated the game.  East always looked dangerous on the break, but with Bailey doing a superb job to shackle the lively Meija, and Gray tracking back to snuff out the threat posed by Lucas, West began to look comfortable.  They took the lead after a period of play in which they had created three good chances in quick succession.  It was finally Godden, receiving a hooked pass from Ferdinand, who turned neatly and struck the ball home.  Just afterwards, Gray hit the bar with a wicked cross shot that completely deceived the East ‘keeper.

West were right to feel hard done by when East then scored from their only other shot of the half.  A good tackle by Tillbrook appeared to have cleared the ball, but the referee awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box.  Aided by the swirling wind, the free-kick drifted into the top corner with Kosky struggling to get across his line.

In the second period East pushed on looking for the win, and leaving too much space for James and Jaravaza.  James especially was a constant threat, his footwork too quick for any of the defenders.  It was James who combined down the left with Clark and Jaravaza to set up Ferdinand for what proved to be the crucial goal.

As West now reverted to 4-4-2 and sat back they comfortably absorbed the pressure, Smith and Hawes dealing easily with the long balls East pumped forward.  Every time West ventured forward they looked like getting another.  A fierce drive from Clark went narrowly over, and James twice came close to adding to his tally for the season as he danced his way through the East defence.  Patterson also carved out a good opening before driving high.  When the inevitable goal came, it was one that the East ‘keeper will want to forget, Smith’s over-hit through ball from 75 yards taking a high bounce over the ‘keepers head.  A lucky goal, but 4-2 was a fair reflection of the play.     

Team:  Kosky; Bailey, Hawes, Phillips (Smith, 45); Godden, Tillbrook, Clark, Jaravaza, Gray; James, Ferdinand (Patterson, 62).    

Under 12's

Girls lose to Harpenden

The U12 girls lost 3-1 to Harpenden in their final league game of the season, bringing to an end a winning run of 10 games.
The girls started well and started to put some pressure on Harpenden, although it was clear from the start that their opponents were a strong team.
Hannah Ford shot narrowly wide before Hayley Ladd put St Albans ahead with a well taken goal. At the other end Lucy Hancock made a couple of good saves, as Harpenden pressed forwards. St Albans continued to have the better of the game and came close to increasing their lead when they hit the post twice. With the score 1-0 at half time the girls went out in confident mood for the second half. However Harpenden began to play the better football and equalised from an excellent free kick on the edge of the box. The game became fairly much end to end. St Albans began to loose their shape and with 15 minutes to go a defensive error led to Harpenden taking the lead. This was followed by an own goal to make the final score 3-1.
Player of the match was Rachel Sherlow who had a really solid performance at right back.

East unstuck

After another whirlwind start which saw the East take the lead after 90 seconds, the boys couldn't hold back a strong Northwood team in the second half to go down 3-1 in the league at Francis Bacon.

With Northwood on a high after winning the Middlesex County Cup and knocking Harvesters out of the Challenge Cup, St Albans had the perfect start when a Dean Kemp corner was controlled by Goro Nishioka who spun and shot through a crowded area into the far side of the net. For fifteen minutes St Albans had most of the play but gradually Northwood played their way back into the match but both sides couldn't add to the scoreline. In the second half the wind increased and the Northwood pressure continued and they equalised after 6 minutes with a good shot high into the net which gave keeper Tom Coulton no chance. Ten minutes later Northwood got a second which then saw St Albans' throw players forward to salvage something from the game, but attempts from Goro, Lee Close and Aidan Fortune didn't trouble the scoreline. With 2 minutes injury time on the clock a rushed clearance was further punished by Northwood who added a third.

Overall disappointment for the boys in a match which closely mirrored the recent Herts County Cup Final defeat.

U12E: Coulton; Maher (Fortune), Wroe, Hunter, Gray (McNamara); Lowthian (Wilson), Donovan, Kemp (Northage), O'Shea; Nishioka, Close.

Under 12 Girls lose to Barking

On the face of it, not very good but the score belies a great performance by the girls.  Having not played for 2 months, the last game being a poor 1-19 defeat to the same Barking with only 10 players, and then arriving at the ground to find we had lost two key players somewhere on the way and never to arrive  it was not going to be easy.

he girls battled extremely well and the new defensive formation worked well despite having to draught in Anna Mason and Christina Berkeley at the last moment.  With Aimee Edel they did a great job.  Hannah Reardon and Rebecca Atkins were then given more freedom to try to impose themselves on the game, the latter certainly did so earning herself the player of the match award, perhaps just pipping Hannah to the post.  The midfield worked very hard but ran out of steam in the second half.  Oh for those two missing girls!!

Under 11's

West await final place?

St Albans U11 West lost 2 - 3 away to Parkfield in the final qualifying match for the Thomas Hardy Cup. Going into this game City needed to win or draw to guarantee a place in the final. Things looked good after Toby put us ahead after 13 minutes, only for Parkfield to reply almost straight from the kick off. 1-1. Tom was knocked down in the box but was denied what looked like a clear penalty. Then on 26 minutes Dominic put us back into the lead with a well taken shot. The team were all playing well by this point and looked in control of the game taking a one goal lead into the break.
The second half started well then Parkfield scored on the break leveling the score. 2-2. Some dubious free kicks were awarded around our box but these were all defended well. Then just when it looked like the game was drawn, and our place in the final booked, Parkfield hit the winning goal. This brought back memories of last year when we were beaten by a last minute goal..... Only this time we may have done enough in the previous games.... the 8 goals against Gadeside should just give us the edge to reach the final. Lets hope so!

Well played to everyone in the team in this and the previous qualifying matches. MOM David Towndrow

 

17th April 2005

Under 12's

East show "Bouncebackability"

After an exhausting cup final on Sunday, St Albans City U12 East kept their heads high to bounce back to winning ways with a controlled single goal victory at Borehamwood 2000.

The result was secured with a single first half goal after a wondrous bit of skill from Aidan Fortune who timed his run well and beat a defender to break into the box. Aidan's resultant shot from a tight angle was half-saved by the keeper but good follow up work by Lee Close made sure the ball hit the back of the net from a few yards out. The match was keenly contested throughout with several stoppages for hard but fair tackling on both sides, and St Albans were unlucky not to take a 2 or 3 goal lead into half-time after shooting narrowly wide of the goal and a Borehamwood defender turning the ball onto his own post. The second half started off in the same pattern as the first, with Borehamwood being reduced to long shots by a keen midfield who worked the ball around the park to good effect. Chances were being created including Aidan turning neatly in the box and a shooting just over the bar and a Goro Nishioka strike which struck the post only to rebound into the keeper's arms. Even when St Albans got the ball in the net from a Dean Kemp drive, the ref had just blown for an injury. In a frantic finish the home side threw three then four attackers into the fray but excellent covering by fullbacks Louis McNamara and Eddie Gray, and some massive tackles by Jacob Wroe at centreback and Charlie Hunter at sweeper, meant that St Albans kept a welcome clean sheet.

Overall a good display which wipes away the memories of a heavy defeat on the same ground back in January, and keeps the league title hopes alive and kicking.

U12 East: Coulton; McNamara, Wroe, Hunter, Gray; Close, Donovan, Kemp, O'Shea; Nishioka, Fortune (Lowthian).

Girls progress to semi final

The U12 girls put on an excellent display to progress to the semi final of the plate competition. Playing against Hitchen Town Belles the girls started well with Winnie Wallace scoring after 2 minutes. 5 minutes later Winnie turned provider when after a good run down the right her excellent cross was finished off by Grace Lewis to make the score 2-0. St Albans continued to have most of the play although Hitchen did look dangerous on break. On 20 minutes the game looked to be all over when Megan Wynne made the score 3-0.

The score remained the same until half time and the girls came out in the second half expecting more of the same. However Hitchen really upped their game and started putting pressure on the St Albans defence. After 40 minutes they pulled a goal back to make the score 3-1. Hitchen continued to press forward and the game became fairly even before a through ball from Megan Wynne put Winnie Wallace through to score a well taken second goal. With five minutes to go Megan Wynne scored her second with a thunderous shot from outside of the area to make the final score 5-1.  This was another really good performance by the girls. They passed the ball around really well going forward and at the back dealt with everything that Hitchen threw at them.  Player of the match was hard to choose, after such a good team performance. Josie Green shaded the rest with a commanding performance in the middle of midfield.

Chances missed

West missed a couple of good chances and probably should have had a penalty when Cole Beels was pushed over in the box in the first half. However it was Wood Rangers goal 1 minute from half time after a long run down the wing went unchallenged that proved to be the sucker punch.  West kept battling and there were some good through balls but an excellent Wood keeper was always quick off his line.  Jon Mallaburn worked really hard to create an opportunity up front and was unlucky when his shot rebounded off the keeper but did not fall to anyone's feet.  Joe Maliszewski did some fine work in goal and kept West in it and Charlie Craigen also worked really hard in defence.  West however need to hit the target more often and had they done this, the game could have gone their way.  

Under 11's

Good win for the West

St Albans City West Under 11s beat Chorleywood Lions 2 - 1 in their third game of the Thomas Hardy cup. City started ok and scored after 4 minutes Harvey Scott finishing from a well taken Laurie Blow corner. Chorleywood responded immediately beating the offside trap with ease and lobbing an advancing Matthew Rodford leaving him no chance. Some poor play and lack of first touch meant that Chorleywood pressured the young saints goal with Matthew making two brilliant saves to deny them taking the lead. During one of our brief attacks right on the stroke of half time Toby Sakata put us ahead by netting another well placed Laurie corner. The second half we did a little better but did not play anywhere near our best many more missed timed clearances and being last to nearly every ball ensured we were under pressure. A very dubious back pass was awarded against us and the resulting close rang free kick was blocked bravely by James Pellington. Just before the end we thought that Harvey Scott had scored the winner only to find the referee and linesman rule that it had not gone in the net. Harveys header from yet another Laurie corner had looped over the bar and then rolled down the other side? Without video evidence we will never know, except that their goalkeeper and defences reaction did seem to indicate that the ball had gone in. The controversy was not over when Chorleywood broke free with a minute remaining on the clock and Matthew Rodford, running from his line, was judged to have brought down their attacker. He received a yellow card and they were awarded a penalty. Luckily the penalty was hit straight down the middle and a cool Matthew caught the ball. His drop kick found Toby, who was then brought down in their box, but that was the last kick of the game. The team were lucky to have stolen the win and can thank Laurie Blow our man of the match for his fantastic corners.

 

10th April 2005

Under 14's                                                                           

City 'West' suffer lack of concentration.

St Albans were away to Hemel Aces on Tuesday, a cup game which meant a lot to both teams.

But it was Hemel who took the lead after just 2 minutes when a goal line scramble was unfortunately turned in by City centre back Jamie Peters. St Albans came back from this fairly positively, although a fairly dull 1st half saw Hemel go into the break 1-0 up.

Again City came out positively having most of the possession, but neither team could create into chances. Hemel managed to grind out a 1-0 victory, from a game which, looking back at it, would have had 0-0 written all over it.

Arron Shaw got Man of the match, finding the form he showed towards the end of last season, with a great game at the back.

 

Under 12's

 

Saints go down to Harvesters in CC Final 

St Albans City Youth's U12 East good fortune in the County Cup came to an end when faced with a strong Harvesters team in the final at Letchworth.

The Saints had the best of the opening encounters with good pressure down the right wing forcing a series of throw-ins deep into Harvesters half. The first chance in the match fell to Goro Nishioka whose shot from the edge of the just went past the post, but with 15 minutes gone City made the breakthrough following a deep lob from James Lowthian into the box. With Goro bearing down on the keeper, he was forced to punch the ball which was collected by Lee Close who was then tripped from behind by ex-Saint George Gordon. The ref pointed to the spot and Charlie Hunter struck the penalty to the keeper's right, and despite getting a hand to the ball it crept over the line for a deserved lead. At this point St Albans were on top with Kieran Donovan competing well in midfield whilst the defence of Louis McNamara, Jacob Wroe, Charlie Hunter and Eddie Gray, had Harvesters' strikers under wraps. More pressure saw the lads create another good chance when Lee Close broke through the back four, only for his pass to Goro to be judged offside, but from this point Harvesters got stronger. Just before half-time they upped their game and Saints were indebted to Louis who intercepted the ball off Harley Stairmand's foot when a goal looked certain and keeper Tom Coulton pulled off a breathtaking diving save to push the ball onto and over the bar.

So at half-time we were one-up, but it was backs to the wall after the restart and Harvesters got even within five minutes after a deep delivery into the box from the left wasn't picked up. After this Harvesters saw their chance and with Saints midfield tiring and a lack of support for the strikers most of the play was in the City half, where their irresistible striking force came up against the immovable object, namely Saints defence. With several attacking waves breaking on the City walls it looked as though the stalemate would continue to full-time, but in the 59th minute Harvesters capitalised on a poor header and Tom Coulton could only parry the shot to the right and the rebound was stuck away. From the kick-off Saints piled forward but the ball was lost and a deep cross from the right was neatly headed home past the defenceless Coulton in goal to rub salt into the youngsters wounds.

Overall we didn't play our best football, but the lads can be proud with their achievement of reaching their first major final which they led for 20 minutes compared to Harvesters 3! Saints men of the match were Louis playing his first match at right back for 3 years and Tom in goal who had knocked his head on the post and injured his arm whilst in the line of fire.

U12 East: Coulton; McNamara, Wroe, Hunter, Gray; Lowthian (Fortune), Donovan, Kemp, O'Shea; Nishioka, Close. Other used subs: Northage, Maher, Bullock, Wilson.

 

Girls seal runners up spot

The U12 girls sealed the runners up spot in the Herts Girls League Division 2 with a convincing 9-1 victory against Hatfield Youth.

Megan Wynne opened the scoring after 2 minutes with a typical strong run and finish. The girls then seemed to lose their way a bit and although they were still having the better of the game could not increase their lead. However on twenty minutes after a shot from Grace Lewis the ball fell to Hannah Ford in the area who slotted the ball away to make the score 2-0.

A minute later Megan Wynne made the score 3-0 with a powerful run and shot .On the stroke of half time Megan scored her hat-trick after an excellent cross from Grace Lewis. The score at half time flattered the girls with Hatfield making some decent breaks, most of which were snuffed out by the St Albans defence where Megan Shaw put in a particularly impressive performance.

The second half saw Hatfield putting up a spirited fight and after 40 minutes they scored to make the score 4-1. There were a few jitters before Megan Wynne scored her fourth to make the game safe on 50 minutes. Grace Lewis Scored a deserved goal two minutes later, and this was followed up by another by Hannah Ford to make the score 7-1.

The girls then scored one of the best this season with a flowing move. Megan Wynne fed Grace Lewis on the left who advanced on the gaol before passing to Hayley Ladd who put the ball past the keeper. Right on the stroke of full time St Albans were awarded a penalty which Josie Green calmly put away to make the final score 9-1.Despite the score Hatfield put up a brave fight and looked dangerous on the break.

This result means that the girls will definitely end up as runners up in the league. This is thoroughly deserved as the girls have played some excellent football this season and have improved considerably as the season has progressed.

Player of the match was Grace Lewis with an excellent performance on the left side of midfield.

Under 12's West deserved the win

A very close game but West deserved the win as they created more chances but their finishing in the first half was poor and it was much closer than it should have been.  The defence; Elliott Jay, Jamie Heaffey, Charlie Craigen and Joe Murtagh were hard pushed at times especially in the first 10 mins but remained solid.  Joe Maliszewski in goal did some great work for the whole game to snuff out the odd threat from Edson.  The second half saw West much the stronger and Jamie and Scott Howlett were both denied after surging runs by an excellent Edson keeper.  However the goal  had to come following the constant pressure and battling especially from Tom Weaver and George Figg in the centre of midfield, and when Matt Peckham found Cole Beels he  made no mistake chipping the keeper. West battled well and fully deserved the win. 

 

Under 11's

 

West march on

St Albans City West beat Echoes 4 - 2 in their second match of the Thomas Hardy Cup. City started brightly and looked on top creating the only chances then after quarter of an hour Echoes broke quickly and with their first attack of the game scored. City still stunned watched as they did it again and their second attack produced another goal. Rather than stop City continued as they had been playing and straight after the kick off Laurence Blow placed a shot after receiving a throw in from Harvey Scott. More pressure was rewarded with a goal in the last minute of extra time. Harvey crossed the ball in and Tom Pugh jumped well to head the ball over the keeper. The second half started with Echoes determined to get back into the match and a great save from Matthew Rodford denied them an early chance. After 6 mins Laurie Blow put in a great corner which was finished with a deflected shot from Harvey. A few minutes later a penalty was awarded to City after the ball had been handled in the box but unfortunatley Matthew hit the ball wide. It made no difference as Chris Hudson sealed the win in the 56 minute powering in another fine Laurie corner. Joint men of the match going to Chris Hudson and Matthew Rodford.

 

3rd April 2005

Under 14's                                                                           

City 'West' 3 points in the league.

St Albans, in the middle of a good cup run, found themselves playing Scrabble in the league. City had a good first half having most of the possession and chances.

Despite this, the teams went into the break at 0-0.

St Albans came out from half time very positive and played much of the better football. This was then rewarded by a great strike from Nick Glasgow which went in off the post, giving the keeper no chance. About 5 minutes later it was Michael Gamble who managed to slot the ball home past the oncoming Scrabble goalkeeper. Some direct play from the back opened up the heart of the Scrabble team, and a brilliant ball to Jamie Watt allowed him to go through and take a well deserved goal, chipping the keeper from the edge of the area. Scrabbles afternoon then got even worse when centre-back Jamie Peters turned in a set piece from point blank range. So at 4-0 with 15 minutes remaining City took their foot off the gas a little. This proved to be costly as Scrabble scored 2 goals in quick succession. But City reacted and managed to hold out for just their 2nd league victory in their last 7 games.

Ben White was named Man of the Match for a great game on the left wing.

 

Under 12's

Under 12's West fight back

The first goal after 8 minutes came from an excellent piece of link up play when Matt Peckham set Jon Mallaburn away down the right, and his excellent cross was buried by Carl Biggs. Charlie Craigen who was rock solid in defence and was unlucky not to score on a couple of occasions set up Scott Howlett for the 2nd goal and his shot was sweetly struck into the top corner from the edge of the box.  Matt who was influential through out the game again instigated the 3rd goal setting Scott away down the wing, beating the defence for pace and chipping the keeper in fine style.  West were cruising and pushing forward and were then given a sharp lesson conceding two goals in quick succession, although the first one came from a poor free kick decision.  However,  West kept their cool and Matt's superbly struck shot was parried by the keeper for Carl to pounce for his second.  Jon Mallaburn finally got his reward for all his hard work 1 minute from time, when Carls flick on was not cleared and Jon pressured the defender into making an error and he was able to slip the shot past the keeper.  West created plenty of chances and were unlucky not to score on a few more but it was a solid team performance. 

One eye on next week

Whether it was having half a mind on next week's County Cup Final, St Albans City Youth U12 East started poorly but twice fought back from being a goal behind against a tough Northwood side to earn a battling draw.

On a very narrow pitch St Albans were second to most balls in the first half and found themselves a goal behind after ten minutes when the Northwood striker was first to a ball over the top, and despite keeper Tom Coulton parrying the shot they were first to the rebound. With the exception of Kieran Donovan in midfield St Albans' play lacked a bit of bite and it wasn't til the 20th minute when the lads had their first meaningful shot. Northwood could count themselves unlucky not to have been two up at the break. After the restart St Albans upped their game and in the space of 6 minutes the three remaining goals were scored. The first equaliser came from the unlikely source of fullback Will Northage who put a half-cleared corner back into the Northwood box. With several player's jumping around the keeper the high ball was deflected towards the net, and Goro Nishioka made sure it crossed the line for Will's first club goal on his 59th appearance! In reply Northwood again broke through the away defence to stroke the ball past Tom, although the referee chose to ignore a foul in midfield and a blatant pull on Charlie Hunter's shirt when trying to clear the ball. The final goal came from a trademark Dean Kemp freekick, smashed high into the top corner from a full 30 yards to impress the watching Harvesters' management.

St Albans were on top in the final 10 minutes and twice skimmed the bar with efforts from Lee Close and a near piece of Goro brilliance who turned and shot in one movement from the edge of the box. Overall the draw was probably a fair result considering the poor start....... something we can't afford next week!!

U12 East: Coulton; Northage (Wilson), Maher, Hunter, Gray; McNamara (Fortune), Donovan, Kemp, O'Shea; Nishioka, Close.

Under 11's

Scott on fire

St Albans City West ran out 8 - 2 winners over Gadeside Rangers in their first game of the Thomas Hardy Cup. City arrived to find the pitch had not been cut and Gadeside only had 10 players. The long grass meant it was hard work to keep the ball moving and with Gadeside out to defend it looked like it would take something special to score. After quarter of an hour Harvey Scott opened from a great assist by Matthew Rodford this opened the game up and Harvey then slotted home two minutes later. Harvey completed his first hat trick on 20 minutes. Gadeside did not give up and put enough pressure on to get a goal back just on the stroke of half time. 3 - 1. Ten minutes into the second half Harvey netted his fourth  his 100th goal for St Albans City Youth. This caused a big celebration by the team and parents. By now Harvey was on fire netting again two minutes later and again five minutes later completing a second hat trick. While he stopped to take a breath Captain Chris Hudson stepped up to take a free kick, knocked to him by Dominic Oliver, and then expertly smashed into the net from just past the half way line. Harvey feeling left out made it eight his seventh and our final goal of the day. Gadeside to their credit did not stop and scored in the last minute of extra time. The whole team played well with all players playing their part to assist Harvey to his 100 goals. Jake Deacon Chris Hudson and George Guest worked well as a three man defence. Joint man of the match went to Joe Crawshaw for his battling in midfield and of course Harvey Scott.

31st March 2005

Under 14's                                                                           

City 'West' put in another good performance.

St Albans put in another good performance in the Spring Trophy with a 3-2 win against Muswell Hill. City started well and pulled good saves out of the Muswell Hill goalkeeper from the start. But after about 15 minutes Muswell Hill broke through the City defence and a good save from the City goalkeeper stopped the original stop, but allowed a Muswell Hill striker an open goal. The score remained like this until half time.

Disaster then struck again when City conceded again about 10 minutes after the restart, when a freekick was swept across and only partially cleared, and a good strike from a Muswell Hill striker left City 2-0 down with about 25 minutes remaining. But about 5 minutes afterwards Nick Glasgow appeared at the back post to score a great goal to give City a glimmer of hope. Nick Glasgow then equalized for City with a powerful header from a Daniel Burtt corner. And, with 5 minutes remaining Aaron Lumsden crept in at the back post to claim his 20th goal of the season.

Steli Lasonos was named Man of the Match for a solid game at the back, after a few weeks off. This victory gives City every chance of progressing further in this Spring Competition, the Competition City have won twice in the last 3 years.

 

20th March 2005

Under 18's

West into Semi Final

West won a place in the Challenge Cup semi-finals with a confident performance against a combative Garston United.  For the first time in several weeks West’s passing looked smooth as they moved the ball down the flanks.  Without creating any clear chances, they dominated the opening quarter but then, as so often this season, confidence lapsed on a set piece and a Garston forward was given a free header on goal. 

An injury to Rhodes forced a change on 21 minutes, but West maintained the same pattern of play and did not drop the tempo.  James forced a good save from the ‘keeper after an exchange of passes with Ferdinand and Clark, and then returned the compliment to send Clark in on goal.  A foul on Jaravaza on the edge of the area brought the equaliser, Hawes striking the dead ball against the crossbar and Clark following up to stroke the ball home. 

The decisive goal came early in the second half, and had a touch of luck about it, Anderson striking a firm ball across the box that took a deflection past the stranded goalkeeper.  With their noses now in front, West carved Garston apart with some incisive play.  Much of this was built upon a solid performance from Lock in midfield, and tidy play at the back from Smith and a rejuvenated Phillipps. Godden had a fine game in the centre of the park, linking the play.  He combined with Lock to break down a Garston attack and Anderson’s long pass found James. His neat turn and flick set Ferdinand free to beat the ‘keeper with a powerful shot.  At 3-1 West were coasting, and in the final ten minutes James tormented the Garston defence.  He stepped up to take a penalty awarded in the final minutes, after Smith had been impeded from a corner, to give West am emphatic victory.

Team:  Kosky; Hawes, Smith, Phillipps; Jaravaza, Lock, Clark, Rhodes (Anderson, 21), Godden; James, Ferdinand

Under 12's

Last 20 minutes turn around

For 40 minutes of this match St Albans U12 East were atrocious but in the last twenty managed to turn around a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 win over Whetstone Panthers at Francis Bacon.

Not much to say about the first half except the defence spent most of their time bickering amongst each other, the midfield wasn't covering and the attackers failed to hold up the ball, with the result that the Panthers looked by far the better team and good value for their single goal lead at the break. Within two minutes of the restart it was 2-0 with a close range shot off the post giving keeper and Arsenal Triallist, Tom Coulton no chance. Once the in-team squabbling stopped St Albans started to play and Goro Nishioka jinked through the Whetstone defence to slot the ball past the keeper for a 1-2 scoreline. Unfortunately Whetstone soon got back their two goal lead for 1-3, before Dean Kemp's appearance as substitute turned the match St Albans way. Aidan Fortune smartly took down Dean's ball on the edge of the box, turned and lobbed it over the keeper, 2-3. With the Jekyll and Hyde transformation complete St Albans were now playing good football and another substitute, Will Northage put in a defence splitting ball which Goro homed in on and fired past the advancing keeper into the far side of the net, 3-3. By now Whetstone and their followers were rattled, and a series of late, dangerous and heavy challenges were punished with freekicks around the box. From one of these freekicks a deflection appeared to hit a raised defender's hand on the line, and after much deliberation a corner was awarded, which was then handled by the Whetstone Captain. No (less) arguing this time and Charlie Hunter stepped up to strike the ball into the back of the net, 4-3 and four minutes left. In the remaining time several pitch invasions occurred with Whetstone players flinging themselves all over the pitch, but St Albans kept their cool whilst Whetstone totally lost theirs for a memorable comeback win.

U12 East: Coulton; Hollis (Bullock, Northage), Wroe, Hunter, Gray; McNamara, Maher (Kemp), Donovan, O'Shea; Nishioka, Fortune.

U12 girls see off champions

The U12 girls put in a fantastic team performance to beat the newly crowned Div 2 champions Luton Town Belles 5-1, and consolidate their place as potential runners up in the league.

The early exchanges were fairly even with most of the action in midfield. After 10 minutes Hannah Ford had a good chance with a quick break but shot narrowly wide. A couple of minutes later Luton has a similar chance at the other end.

On 15 minutes Grace Lewis scored an excellent goal. With the ball bobbling around in the Luton penalty area she coolly lobbed the goalkeeper to make the score 1-0. Having scored St Albans began to get a real grip on the game and 5 minutes later Megan Wynne made the score 2-0 with a powerful shot. Despite further chances the girls could not extend their lead and just before the break Luton underlined that they were still a threat. A good through ball released one of the Luton forward who was clear through on goal. Lucy Hancock came off her line at just the right time to close down the angle and make an excellent save.

The first minute of the second half saw Winnie Wallace score with a run from the half way line and a great chip over the keeper, to make the score 3-0. St Albans continued to press and scored a 4th ten minutes later when Megan Wynne scored with a header (The first headed goal the team has scored this year!). Luton came back with a swift break to score a consolation goal.

Ten minutes from time Hayley Ladd scored with a great shot from the edge of the area to make the score 5-1. There was still time for Lucy Hancock to make another fine save from one of the Luton forwards, again coming off her line bravely. This was a really fine team performance and shows how far the girls have come over the season.

All the players really contributed to what was an excellent victory. The defence never really looked in danger, and coped really well with the Luton forwards (a team who have scored over 100 goals this season). The midfield took control of the game and the forwards were always a real threat.

Player of the match was Michaela Fleming who had a superb game in midfield, and just shaded Josie Green, also playing in midfield, to the award.

 

13th March 2005

Under 18's

Title hopes dashed

This miserable defeated ended West’s league title hopes for the season.  Things looked promising enough for much of the first half, with Clark’s probing passes setting Jaravaza clear twice, and a neat turn from Godden getting Ferdinand in.  But West’s forwards squandered these easy chances.  Nor were they getting much favour from the referee, who twice turned down legitimate calls for a penalty when Ferdinand was pulled down, and then completely ignored a blatant body-check on Tillbrook to prevent what would surely have been a goal. The goal they eventually got was a scrappy affair, Jaravaza nudging the ball over the line from a Gray corner.

Two lapses of concentration turned the game.  On the stroke of half time a shot from distance bobbled badly in front of Kosky, who pushed the ball to the side.  West’s defenders were too slow to cover, and Whetstone managed to poke the ball home.  Then, early in the second period West went to sleep after a break in play for an injury and were caught cold by a quickly taken free kick.  They never looked like recovering from this sucker punch.

Whetstone rubbed it in at the end with a penalty, after a dive that would have scored very high marks in the Olympic High Board event.  The referee had a very poor game, and so did West.

Team:  Kosky; Tillbrook (Phillips, 58), Hawes, Smith, Gray; Patterson, Lock, Clark, Godden; Jaravaza, Ferdinand

 

Under 12's

U12 girls win at Hemel

The U12 girls beat Hemel Hempstead Town 7-0 in the league. The girls got off to a flyer with Winnie Wallace scoring in the first minute.

However on a huge pitch they didn't pass the ball as well as they could, and with Hemel Hempstead digging in and creating some pressure themselves the score remained at 1-0 until Megan Wynne scored after a good run on 20 minutes. Winnie Wallace then set up Hannah Ford to score with a good cross into the box on 25 minutes. One minute late Megan Wynne made it 4-0 with an excellent solo run and finish.

The second half saw fairly constant St Albans pressure. Lucy Mann scored a good goal after being set up by Josie Green with an excellent through pass, after 35 minutes. Five minutes later Winnie Wallace made it 6-0 after a smart move between Rachel Sherlow and Alea Brooke.

Hannah ford wrapped up the victory with a good goal on the break to make the final score 7-0.

Lucy Mann was player of the match with a commanding performance initially in defence and later midfield.

East, Six on the bounce

St Albans City U12 East made it six wins on the bounce with a somewhat dysfunctional 3-1 win over bottom placed Alexandra Park Youth. It was another quick start with George Bullock picking out Lee Close, who expertly lobbed the keeper from 20 yards out with only 2 minutes gone. Despite this early score Alexandra Park upped their game, and quickly evened the scoreline from a corner - a neat headed finish punishing St Albans' poor marking.

Just before half-time Lee carved open the home defence only for Aidan Fortune's goal-bound shot to be tipped round the post, and at the other end James Lowthian's clearance just cleared the bar. In the second half St Albans changed their formation to combat the home side's 5 man midfield and quickly retook the lead when James was first to a quick throw-in, his neat flick beating the keeper from a tight angle.

Ten minutes later James added the third from a rebound off the keeper to settle the lads' nerves and complete the scoring. Despite not reaching the fluency of play seen against Bury Rangers, this was a professional display with all of the lads competing for a starting place. Special mention to George Bullock and will Northage at fullback, plus Ryan Maher who covered and tackled well in a central midfield role.

Unlucky West

St Albans City Youth Under 12's West played Sarrett Rebels and for the first 15 minutes the teams were very evenly matched as the game went from end to end.  Both teams defended really well and some excellent through balls from Charlie Rainsford and Matt Peckham could not be converted by a hard working Carl Biggs up front. 

Rebels always looked dangerous with lots of balls into the box and in the 17 minute West failed to clear and then allowed them too much time and they could not miss from the edge of the six yard box. Five minutes later  West were really unlucky when an attempted cross curled in the top corner.  

West's best effort came just before half time after a well worked move went just wide of the post.  The second half West raised their game and pushed forward but went 3 down to a Sarrett breakaway goal against the run of play.  The last 15 minutes was all West but they never looked like scoring, until George Figgs beautifully struck free kick sailed over the keepers head.  George was again involved in West's second goal with a lovely weighted through ball to Cole Beels who skilfully chipped the keeper.  With a bit of luck or a bit more time West probably would have shared the points but it was not their day.          

 

6th March 2005

Under 13's

Half Hearted

This was a poor performance from the Under 13's Girls away to Barking and the scoreline reflects a half hearted approach.  The home team were simply first to too many balls and we failed to clear the ball from defence, a recipe for disaster.  Jane Jardine never gave up at the front but with little good ball and support.  She had to create her own openings but only converted one.  Rebecca Staple had another good game marking her opponent well and reducing her impact but others only shone in patches and not as a team.  There were signs of thought and attempts to play passing football but a change of approach is fundamental.  Jane Jardine took home the Player of the Match award.

Under 12's

Under 12 Girls Herts County Cup Champions 2004/05

 

On Sunday 6th match 2005 at the County ground Letchworth the City Youth under 12’s Girls played Hitchin Town Belles in the final of the Herts FA Challenge Cup Final.

In a match, which saw Young Saints dominant from the first whistle against opposition from the Division above, they ran out 5-0 winners.

After only two minutes Megan Wynne burst into the box but Eva Barnett tipped her low drive around the post for a corner. Wynne took the corner kick herself and the ball fell to Winnie Wallace whose shot crashed into the side netting.  Next Wynne had another effort saved whilst both Fleming and Wallace went close with a couple of dangerous efforts.

Finally the Saints took the lead when Erin Fogarty, with an excellent pass through the middle of the Hitchin defence sent Megan Wynne away and after holding off a couple of challenges Wynne calmly slid the ball past the advancing keeper to make it 1-0.  Then Michaela Fleming, from the left, fired in a low drive, which Barnett pushed around the foot of the near post for a corner.  Later Barnett, with a poor kick found Wynne but unfortunately her fine shot took a deflection and crept inches wide of the far post.  Just before half time the saints went 2-0 up when Grace Lewis and Michaela Fleming worked a short corner and Hannah Ford, racing in at the back, fired home from six yards past a static Barnett.

The Saints Defence and Midfield, throughout the first half snuffed out any Hitchin attacks leaving them with not shots on target.

Megan Wynne scored the Saints third goal with a beautiful curling shot from ten yards after Hayley Ladd had set her up with a fine pass into the box.  Then the Saints went 4-0 up after a shot by Josie Green was blocked and the ball ran to the diminutive Grace Lewis, who with a superb lob from eight yards chipped the keeper to increase the Saints lead. In between these goals Lucy Hancock had to make her only save of the match when she was quick of her line to block a drive from Louse McCay with her legs.

The Saints fifth and final goal was a fine individual effort from Megan Wynne when she picked up a loose ball just inside the Hitchin half out by the right touchline, after running at the Hitchin goal she struck the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net to complete a superb hat trick.

There was no individual player of the match just a superb all round team performance from all the girls of the Saints Under 12’s.

After the final whistle Mr Graham Phillips, A Director of the Herts FA, presented the trophy to team Captain Megan Wynne.

Team:  Lucy Hancock, Megan Shaw, Sam May, Hayley Ladd, Erin Fogarty, Michaela Fleming, Hannah Ford, Lucy Mann, Megan Wynne, Josie Green, Winnie Wallace, Subs: Rachel Sherlow, Alea Brooke, Grace Lewis, Abbie Mann (All Played)

 

Unlucky West

West really deserved a point after an excellent team performance.  Uphill in the first half they battled for every ball.  Joe Maliszewski in goal was outstanding for the whole game and kept West in it with some superb saves.  Chorleywood always looked dangerous on the break and unfortunately West went behind 5 minutes from half time when an excellent shot across the goal just beat the keeper at the far post.  The second half West were really unlucky, Matt Peckham who had an excellent game on the wing had a powerful shot saved. After a lovely through ball from Jack Siberry, Cole Beels somehow had his shot cleared off the line by a lunging defender. Jon Mallaburn buried an excellent cross from Matt only to have it disallowed for a dubious offside.  West's finishing however was poor and they saw at least five or six shots go just wide and a one on one with the keeper saved.  Had they finished better they would have deserved to win it, but they should have at least shared the points.  

Under 10's

10's West into the Semi's

This was a very tricky quarter final Challenge Cup tie for the Under 10's West against the runaway leaders of the White Division, Edmonton Lionhearts who had dispatched fellow Red Division teams Muswell Hill and Omonia Green in the previous rounds. Playing on a very narrow and heavy pitch St Albans played some attractive football but found it difficult to break down the home defence and any shots on target were well saved by the keeper. At the other end of the pitch Hal Maher and Laurence Wroe defended so well that keeper Will Crafts didn't have a save to make and only touched the ball twice in the whole match. Just before the end of normal time Daniel Rosson's shot hit the post, and Cormac O'Regan's freekick was bound for the top corner but outstretched fingers tipped the ball over the bar. In extra time the boys upped the tempo with Jack McNamara linking well with Kane Thomas in midfield before Cormac made the breakthrough with a left foot shot in the box. In the second period St Albans domination showed with Matt Taylor powering home a long shot before Cormac made a break from his own half and finished in style.

 

27th February 2005

Under 18's

Local derby win for Under 18's West

Without a ‘keeper available for the second game running, West took the field in a tricky Spring Cup fixture against a robust Harvesters side containing five ex-City players.  Any thoughts of an upset were quickly dispelled as West scored on their first attack.  Jaravaza’s sweeping ball to the right created havoc in the Harvesters back line, and Patterson crossed for Clark and Godden to work the opening for Ferdinand to crisply strike home.          Clark’s work-rate and Lock’s patient, neat passing set up chance after chance.  A Godden strike hit the bar, and Ferdinand missed badly when clean through.  A great chance made by Godden was superbly saved by the Harvesters ‘keeper, and an excellent Clark drive went narrowly wide.

At the back West always looked comfortable. With Rhodes back to his best and Hawes in commanding form, stand-in ‘keepers James and then Phillips never really looked troubled.  The second goal inevitably came thanks to a forceful run from Clark, with James finishing neatly.  When their only serious strike on goal was spilled by Phillips, Harvesters snatched an undeserved goal, but with six minutes remaining James once again carved open their defence to set up Tillbrook for a thunderous tap in.

The quality of the passing and the way that West controlled this game suggested that the squad is getting back to their best form for the run in to the season.  With two cups and the league title still to play for, they have good reason to stay focused.

Team:  James; Hawes, Rhodes, Phillips; Patterson (Bailey, 61), Lock, Godden, Clark, Gray; Jaravaza (Smith, 55), Ferdinand (Tillbrook, 68)

Under 13's

On a better day!!!!

Under 13's Girls played Letchworth however the late loss of Megan Bebb from central midfield with an injury left a big void when coupled with the existing loss  of Rebecca Atkins from central defence.  Despite this the team, reduced to 11 against a team with at least 5 substitutes, started well and matched the opposition.  In fact they created a number of chances that were not  taken and the team could well have been 3-0 up, on a better day,  before Letchworth scored their first after 20 minutes.  Slack marking and hesitation saw two more goals given away before half time.  

A silly goal after half time suggested there would be no fight back but the team held its own again before two more sloppy goals were leaked.  Jane Jardine was denied a penalty when brought down on yet another break but on the next break withstood yet another illegal challenge to rifle the ball past the keeper into the corner.  Exhaustion began really take its toll as the visitors continued to keep making changes three at a time and three more goals were conceded in the final ten minutes.

Under 12's

Under 12's East reach the County Cup Final

A very solid performance from St Albans at a windy Killigrew saw them ease to the Herts County Cup U12 Final with a convincing 3-1 win over a gallant Bury Rangers outfit.

With a change of home venue less than 48 hours before kick-off and losing two players due to flu, St Albans started the match playing with the slope but against the wind. The opening encounters were fairly even with several corners forced at each end, and both keepers were called into action to save close range headers. Midway through the first half a surging run from Lee Close saw him brought down in the box, but the ref kept his whistle in his pocket to the amazement of both Managers. With Bury's back four pushing up the field and playing a risky offside trap St Albans attacked from deep and got the breakthrough a minute from half-time. James Lowthian found space on the right and whipped in a cross which found Kieran Donovan steaming in from midfield. Kieran's first time strike seered high past the Bury keeper for a narrow but deserved lead at the break. In the second half the young Saints came out all guns blazing and a good move immediately saw Goro Nishioka bearing down on goal but his pile driver forced an excellent save from the Bury stopper. Within the next minute a cross nicked the foot of the post and skimmed across the goal but the final touch was missing. The next breakthrough came from a stoppage which saw the ball rolled back to keeper Tom Coulton who took Route 1 upfield with a long drop kick over the halfway line. Lee was alert and his neat header knocked the ball behind the defence before sprinting and blasting the ball into the net from the edge of the box. Not content with a two goal lead St Albans continued to take the match to Bury and their third goal came from yet another corner. Dean Kemp delivered another exquisite ball into the box and Lee Close rose salmon-like over the defence with a thunderous header.      

This spurred Bury Rangers on and they immediately pulled a goal back from the kick-off after throwing everyone forward. With Bury Rangers now playing their best football St Albans mean defence of Brodie Hollis, Captain Eddie Gray, Jacob Wroe and Charlie Hunter came to the fore and in Bury's haste more room was created for the hard working Max O'Shea, Kieran and Goro who all had chances but just failed to add to the scoreline. In the final minutes subsititues Aidan Fortune, Ryan Maher, Mark Wilson and George Bullock all played important roles and helped to run down the clock which saw 10 minutes of time added on. Man of the match: Charlie Hunter.

Thanks to all supporters who cheered on the team and Bury Rangers who proved to be good sporting opponents. The lads will face old adversaries Harvesters in the Final on Sunday 10th April. 

U12 East: Coulton; Hollis (Maher), Wroe, Hunter, Gray; Lowthian (Wilson), Kemp (Bullock), Donovan, O'Shea; Nishioka (Fortune), Close.

 

West earn a point from local rivals

West looked very shaky for the first 10 minutes and found themselves  a goal down when a cross from the left found two unmarked Rangers players on the back post and they couldn't miss.  However from that moment on West went from strength to strength.  George Figg worked really hard in the midfield and earned joint man of the match with Jamie Heaffey in central defence who was everywhere and made some timely challenges.  West really dominated the second half and the reward came when a Jon Mallaburn run down the wing was finished with a superb cross for Charlie Rainsford to bury in the top corner from the edge of the box.  The West defence were rock solid and Joe Murtagh, Myles Smith and Charlie Craigen all made some important challenges.  Joe Maliszewski in goal was also excellent with some really brave saves when called on.  Ryan Rickard and Matt Peckham had excellent games and were both really unlucky to see shots go just wide.  The whole team showed a much more positive attitude and they all played really well and certainly deserved the point and maybe the win.  

Under 11's

Stuck in the mud!!!!

St Albans Under 11 West lost 4 - 1 away to Alexandra Park South. A very muddy pitch was the only reason that St Albans didn't win this game by a very large margin. The first half saw City dominate unfortunately attack after attack was not rewarded. The whole first half was played in Alexandra Parks half with them only entering City's half with the odd break away ball. Completely against the run of play at the end of the first half Alexandra Park broke through and scored. The second half started with Alexandra Park a little brighter but most of the possession and attacking still came from City with and equaliser looking imminent. Once again no luck in front of goal for city and Alexandra Park broke free twice to secure the win. They added a fourth just before the end. Jack Evans finally got a more than deserved goal with a well taken strike. Man of the match for City had to go to Harvey Scott who tried all match to win the game and on any other day would have scored. Everyone played well just some more shooting practice required !

 

20th February 2005

Under 12's

U12 girls win wintry encounter

The U12 girls beat Hemel Hempstead 7-0 to advance to the next round of the U12 Plate Cup.

The girls were facing only 9 players on a bitterly cold day. Predictably given their advantage in numbers St Albans pressed from the start. On five minutes a fine move involving Hannah Ford, Megan Wynne and Grace Lewis, was finished off by Megan to make the score 1-0. 3 minutes later Michaella Fleming doubled the score with an excellent shot from the edge of the box.

On 14 minutes Megan Wynne hit the post, and a minute later a fine pass from Lucy Mann set Hannah Ford free, who set up Megan Wynne for the third. However although Hemel were two players short they did not give up and gave the St Albans girls problems on the break. Grace Lewis scored on 20 minutes and Hannah Ford made the score 5-0 on the stroke of half time.

The second half continued in the same vein with St Albans having most of the ball and creating more chances but Hemel still looking dangerous on the break. 10 minutes into the second half Winnie Wallace made the score 6-0 with a good break down the right. Hannah Ford finished the scoring with a well deserved goal for all her hard work. Final score Hemel Hempstead 0 St Albans 7. Hemel put up a brave performance and never gave up. To their credit they made a real game of it despite the score line and with a full team would have pushed the girls much harder

Player of the match was Megan Shaw with a really composed performance in the centre of defence.

East Shine

Fourteen Stars shone bright this morning over Francis Bacon when the U12 East had a comfortable 5 goals to 2 win over bottom of the table Alexandra Park Youth.

Playing on a hard pitch St Albans took a one goal lead after 9 minutes when Lee Close jinked his way into the box only to be brought down quicker than Dirty Den as an visiting defender took his legs away. Charlie Hunter stepped up from centre back to calmly tuck away the resultant penalty. With a few tall players in their team the visitors fought their way back into the match with an equaliser high into the net which Tom Coulton only narrowly failed to tip over the bar. Not to be outdone St Albans pushed the attack button and retook the lead when Dean Kemp's lob bounced onto the bar and Lee Close followed it up to slot it past the stranded keeper. Just on the stoke of half-time our Eastenders doubled their lead when Goro Nishioka raced onto Charlie's through ball and shot across the face of the goal with the ball nestling in the back of the net via the post. In the second half St Albans should have extended their lead but Alexandra Park struck back with another Lang range effort high into the net to give the Management a few jitters. The boys stayed calm though and good work by George Bullock on the wing was converted by Max O'Shea in the six yard box, who also got the fifth from a corner.

Overall a competent display on a very cold day with good displays by Kieran Donovan, James Lowthian and a fit again Ryan Maher in midfield. Once again the defence worked hard with Eddie Gray, Brodie Hollis and Will Northage covering well whilst Jacob Wroe broke up several countless attacks with some hard tackling despite hating his role as centre back!

U12 East: Coulton; Hollis (Northage), Wroe, Hunter, Gray; O'Shea, Donovan, Kemp (Maher0, Lowthian (Bullock); Nishioka, Close

 

Disappointing

A disappointing performance from West who were missing a few key players.  They occasionally failed to clear the ball and crowded each other unnecessarily which led to them losing possession too many times. Despite some good work from Charlie Craigen and Myles Smith in defence they went one down after 13 minutes.  George Figg worked really hard in the midfield and Scott Howlett made some good runs down the right wing and eventually they were rewarded when a Myles through ball found Jon Mallaburn who coolly slotted past the keeper. However once again a poor clearance fell to an Oakhill player on the edge of the box who lobbed the keeper leaving them no chance 5 minutes before half time.  West had a better second half and again levelled when George Figg set Cole Beels away who scored through the keepers legs.  It looked like West were one up when Jon put a Ryan Rickard through ball away but it was disallowed for offside. Unfortunately although West had the better of the second half they conceded again on a rare breakaway.  Ryan blasted one just over the bar and Billy Sitek was also cleared off the line.  Joe Maliszewski in goal and Jamie Heaffey in the first half also made a couple of fine saves to keep them in it to the end.  West definitely should not have lost this one but they must improve the first touch and distribution.  

 

13th February 2005

Under 18's

Three Points

For the first 30 minutes of this match the Under 18's West laid siege to the St Albans Rangers goal.  Jaravaza slammed the ball into an empty net after the ball had come back off the post from Ferdinand’s shot.  But Rangers three times cleared from the line, once apiece from Lock, Ferdinand and Jaravaza,  and their ‘keeper did well to deflect Godden’s dipping drive onto the bar. 

At this point, West did what they do too often and relaxed, letting a well organized Rangers back into the game.  The equaliser came just after the break, when poor marking allowed a cross in from the right and a free header in the box.  Though West now pressed on, winning a series of corners, they ran with the ball too much and created few real chances.  The goal finally came from a corner on 81 minutes, with Jaravaza sliding the ball home at the far post.  Two quick chances now went begging, before rangers mounted their only serious attack in 30 minutes and scored.  Poor marking again, and no communication in the West defence.

At this stage a draw would have been a fair reflection of West’s poor performance, but their championship chase was reprieved in the closing minute when Oli Rhodes, the fox in the box, popped up to nudge a Godden corner over the line.

Tom Lock deserves credit for his excellent first half performance, but in the second half every West player should be ashamed of themselves.  This was a lucky three points.

Team:  James; Tillbrook, Smith, Phillipps; Bailey (Anderson), Hawes, Rhodes, Lock, Godden; Jaravaza Ferdinand; 

Under 13's

Player of the match for Jardine

Nothing goes right for you when you are down.  Having struggled to get 11 players out for the game, the bug reduced the Under 13's Girls  to 10 with one girl playing but still not recovered in this league match against Baldock.  Half time saw yet another player succumb to illness leaving us play the half with only nine players on the pitch.  A blow with a ball lost another player’s contact lens leaving her handicapped too.  Little wonder that the high hopes at half time when the score was 2-3 saw the game drift away. 

Individually the girls performed well but it was not a good team performance.  Hannah Reardon was tremendous and gave a Captain’s lead to the team.  Emma Seeby saved a rather harshly awarded penalty. Anna Mason won a great deal of ball and set up a number of chances for the lone forward Jane Jardine who scored two tremendous goals to rally the team just before half time.  However she should have collected her first hat trick as well as the Player of the Match award.

Under 11's

10 man West grab all the points

St Albans City Youth U11 West put in a brilliant performance to beat Abbots Youth away 2 - 1. Hit by injuries, holidays and illness only 10 players were available to play and two of them were very doubtful. The team spirit was impressive with each player working hard to make up the extra space. Captain Harvey Scott showed great skill and determination to put City 1 - 0 ahead. The pitch was very muddy making it hard to get the ball under control. Toby Sakata then also worked hard and scored a scrambled goal putting the young Saints 2- 0 ahead. A great run by Carl Palin was very nearly rewarded with a more than deserved goal. The three man defence of Alistair Sandiford, Chris Hudson and Jake Deacon held up well and goal keeper Ben Lee made some impressive saves keeping City in control of the game. For the second half as the team was getting tired Dominic Oliver dropped back into the defence and David Towndrow and Joe Crawshaw started to play more defensively. This worked until Abbots Youth got thorough and scored a well taken goal leaving Ben Lee no chance. This fired up the team again and Harvey Scott lead the team from the front with Toby and Harvey both being denied obvious penalties. By now the pitch was a mud bath and the ball was completely covered. Still City carried on and in the last five minutes looked the most likely to score. A great display with man of the match going to Carl Palin. Well played to all 10 boys.

 

6th February 2005

Under 18's

Mistakes cost 18's West

This County Cup quarter-final was more evenly matched than the final scoreline suggests, but West learned some hard lessons about the need for organization in defence and 100% concentration. Despite dominating large parts of the game, they were punished by a Potters Bar side that hit them on the break and took their chances.

West had the best of the early exchanges, with James twice jinking his way through.  Pushing forward too readily, West were then caught on the break, Potters Bar scoring an excellent goal as their forward outpaced three West defenders before placing neatly beyond Kosky’s right hand. A deserved equaliser was carved out after an excellent exchange of passes down the left involving Gray, James and Jaravaza.  Ferdinand’s lunge at Gray’s cross did enough to distract the keeper and the ball dropped into the net.

West now turned up the pressure.  Smith should have headed home from a Gray corner, and then Jaravaza crashed a shot wide when Clark had set him free.  Another corner then resulted in a goalmouth scramble from which West should again have scored.  From that corner, Potters Bar broke away and earned a corner of their own.  Despite getting in the first header, the West defence failed to clear the ball and a low shot beat Kosky.  At 1-2 West were still in command, but lapses in defensive concentration again allowed Potters Bar to hit them on the break for the third.  It was in every sense a sucker punch.

At half-time West reorganized down the right, with Godden and Rhodes coming on.  Now playing with more composure, and keeping possession better, West totally dominated the half, but they simply could not score.  The game died as a contest on 71 minutes when Kosky’s lame goalkick went straight to the Potters Bar forward who rounded the keeper and finished.  Two minutes later the final nail was hammered in the coffin when Kosky dropped a cross in the six-yard box, at the feet of the on rushing Potters Bar midfield player. 

A 1-5 drubbing was scant reward for all of the ball won in midfield by Hawes and Clark, and for the excellent defensive work in the second half by Rhodes and Phillipps.  But, as a team West have to learn about discipline and concentration.  At the highest level the opposition will punish any lapses, as Potters Bar showed only too well.

Team:  Kosky; Bailey (Rhodes, 45), Tillbrook, Smith (Phillipps, 70), Gray; Patterson (Godden, 45), Hawes, Clark, Jaravaza; James, Ferdinand;  subs not used; Lock, Lattuca

Under 14's

Big improvement for 14's West

City were hoping to turn the tables on Sunday against Riverside, who were proving to be the team to beat at the moment.

City battled hard in the first half, but had very few attacking chances. Riverside on the other hand had more chances to play in the oppositions half, but good defending from City helped the teams to a half time score of 0-0. In second half, City fought as hard as they had in the first half, but struggled to make anything of their pressure, then, with about 20 minutes left, Riverside took the lead with a well-struck goal from midway inside the area.  But City didn’t give up, and their efforts were rewarded when Daniel Burtt put in a freekick from 25 yards out, which bounced right in front of the keeper into the top of the net; the equalizer City so needed.

City then had at least three good goalscoring chances to snatch the winner, but these were missed, which would prove to be costly. With 5 minutes to go, City looked sure of the point they had worked so hard for. But, for the 2nd game in a row, City crumbled in the last 5 minutes, and allowed Riverside to take their 2nd goal of the game, and snatch all 3 points.

Overall this was a big improvement on previous performances with everyone giving 100%, the result at the end of the day was unkind, but the performance is a platform to build on.

Matt Bennett received ‘Man of the Match’ for a confident and solid display  in goal, pulling of a string of fine saves.

Under 13's

Player of the match for Megan

Playing Princes Park this match represented something of a triumph for the Under 13's Girls on a day that seemed to be heading for disaster.  Illness reduced the team of 11 available players to nine  and a half with Aimee Edel keeping numbers up despite being ill. An injury to the goalkeepers finger in the warm up created further mayhem but Emma Seeby chose to play instead of the hospital.  The team held their own for 15 minutes before conceding a hat trick and then a fourth by half time.

Individual performances improved in the second half and this is reflected in the score.  The achievement was the greater with the injury to inspirational captain, Rebecca Atkins, after 15 minutes who went back on but had to come off with 15 minutes left.  Struggling Aimee had to give up too and so the team played with only 8 for the last 10 minutes.  They all did well but Megan Bebb had a great second half and was an able replacement in central defence when called upon, earning her the Player of the Match award.

Under 12's

East back on top

St Albans U12 East moved back to the top of the Red Division with a controlled 3-1 win over Bedmond Ajax Red.

In a tightly fought first half Lee Close drew first blood after 10 minutes when he outpaced the visitor's defence and shot left-footed past the keeper from a narrow angle. At the other end keeper Tom Coulton's positioning proved crucial when a Bedmond shot came through a sea of players, and then a Bedmond header hit the bar following a corner. In the second half the match was sealed within 5 minutes when Dean Kemp's speculative long-range shot caught the Bedmond keeper off guard and then Max O'Shea's first touch strike arrowed past the keeper for a 3 nil lead. In the dying minutes Bedmond got their only goal with a deflected free-kick off a St Albans player's head.

This was another great result which sees the lads' complete their first league double of the season, built on a solid St Albans' defence and midfield unit that coped well with the opposition's tall strikers.

U12 East: Coulton; Wilson (Northage), Wroe, Hunter, Gray; McNamara (Lowthian), Kemp, Donovan (Maher), O'Shea; Nishioka, Close.

 

U12 girls in comfortable win

The U12 girls facing Hatfield Youth in their first league game in over 2 months, were comfortable winners, beating Hatfield 10 - 0. The first goal was scored by Hannah Ford after 2 minutes. Another followed shortly after scored by Winnie Wallace. Even though St Albans had virtually all the ball Hatfield defended stoutly, and managed to frustrate the girls who began to lose there shape a little. Most of the play being compressed in and around the Hatfield penalty area, and the few breaks that Hatfield had were soon snuffed out by Megan Shaw and Erin Fogarty. On 15 minutes Megan Wynne scored the third, and five minutes later Winnie Wallace added her second goal.

Hannah Ford scored her second just before half time to make the score 5-0. The second half saw a rearranged team with a number of girls playing in unfamiliar positions. The team took a little while to adjust but still created some decent chances. After ten minutes Sam May score her first goal for the club with a great shot from the edge of the box. Five minutes later Megan Wynne scored her second to make the score 7-0. Erin Fogarty almost scored with a shot from over 30 yards before Hayley Ladd scored from the penalty spot.

Michaella Fleming wrapped up the game with two magnificent goals one from the edge of the area and the second from close to the corner flag. Alea Brooke was player of the match with a really committed display in both defence and midfield.

High Five for 12's West

West controlled the first half with Tom Weaver, Jon Mallaburn and Cole Beels linking well and some good runs down the right from Scott Howlett and Matt Peckham.  Myles Smith and Jamie Heaffey were also solid at the back.  The first goal came from a Jamie clearance to Cole who slotted through to Jon who finished well.  Jon then returned the favour 7 minutes later and Cole chipped the keeper and it went in off the back post.  Coles second was from an audacious lob which came from a lovely Stuart Cole through ball.  After a few half time positional changes West started the second half poorly and looked unsettled.  Croxley capitalised after just 3 minutes when a great save from Joe Maliszewski was not cleared and the attempted cross went in the top corner. Joe was again forced to make another good save a few minutes later when left one on one. The first 15 minutes after the break was Croxley's best spell and had it not been for Joes save they might have been back in it.  The return of Tom Weaver to the midfield and Charlie Craigen to central defence however settled West and an excellent run and cross from Tom set Cole up for his hatrick as he could not miss from inside the six yard box. Coles 4th came from a Jon through ball and he made no mistake when left one on one with the keeper.  Quite a few offsides and a couple of unlucky finishes in the second half denied West anymore but overall a good team performance.

 

30th January 2005

Under 18's

Challenge Cup progress for the 18's West

West coasted to a comfortable victory over opposition from a lower division in this Challenge Cup tie.  Playing fine passing football in the opening period, James deservedly put West ahead, converting a fine through ball from Clark.  Ferdinand then had the ball in the net, but the effort was disallowed, and several more great chance went begging.  The most glaring came when the keeper spilled Hawes’ freekick and Ferdinand blasted over when it must surely have been easier to score.

 In the second period Berkhamsted clawed their way back in to the game with a well taken equaliser.  With this, West moved up a gear and slotted home two quick goals, both from very similar moves: Phillips and Gray building the play down the left, for James to go clear and cross for Ferdinand to strike into the empty net.  More missed chances, and another off-side goal disallowed, this time struck home by Patterson, saw the game finish with West very comfortably in command.

There will be a much tougher encounter next week, when West take on Petters Bar Town in the last eight of the Herts County Cup.  The game kicks-off at 10.00 am at Park Street – please do come down and give the lads your support.

 Team:  Kosky; Phillips, Hawes, Tillbrook, Gray; Patterson, Lattuca, Clark (Smith, 69), Jaravaza (Rhodes, 55); James (Bailey, 66), Ferdinand

Under 14's

Mistakes cost City

Stupid mistakes at the back were the key to City’s 4th loss in 6 away to Leverstock Green.

City went down inside of 3 minutes for the 2nd game in a row, when defenders decided to dribble around their own box, allowing the Leverstock Green attackers to take advantage and score the 1st goal of the game. City responded straight away, with Ethan Fogarthy capitalizing on a fumble from the Leverstock keeper to score his 2nd goal of the season. Half way through the 1st half the tall Leverstock striker was allowed to steam straight through the defence to score what was to be the last goal of the half. Half time score 2-1 Leverstock Green.

The second half, was mainly played in the centre of the pitch, with very few chances going to either team. But City fought hard and their efforts were rewarded with 10 minutes to go with Nick Glasgow equalizing again for the Saints., but within a minute of the equalizer, one of the Leverstock Green attackers managed to plough through the City defence, his on target shot was pushed onto the bar by the City goalkeeper, but unfortunately City defenders were too slow to react to the rebound and allowed a Leverstock Green striker to tap in a goal to make the score 3-2. Things then got worse for City, as they conceded again, with 5 minutes to go. Daniel Bissil gave City the lifeline they so desperately needed with a beautiful chip from about 30 yards out which caught the Leverstock Green keeper off his line. But Leverstock’s 5th goal came from a shot hit with considerable pace, and went straight through the goalkeeper’s hands. Matt Mawhood received Man of the Match for a solid game in midfield, and a lot of effort into lifting the team. An embarrassing 5-3 defeat for City means that they’ve conceded 10 goals in just 2 games, a humiliating total by anyone’s standards.

Under 13's

Point required

In their second game in group A of the league cup, the U/13’s North played white division leaders Oakhill Tigers Amber.

St. Albans started very positively and looked in control for the first five minutes until Oakhill mounted their first attack of the game and scored after the City defence failed to clear their lines. Luke Thatcher equalised in the fifteenth minute but Oakhill regained their lead within five minutes. St. Albans were awarded a free kick outside the penalty area and after a debate as to who would take the kick, Jack Ashcroft floated a superb shot that went in off the underside of the crossbar to make the score 2 – 2 which is how it stayed until half time.

In the second period after Toby Irish made it 3 – 2 with a low powerful drive from twenty yards, St. Albans looked much more settled. However, they needed another goal as Oakhill were always dangerous with their pacy forwards. St. Albans didn’t extend their lead and were caught on the break with ten minutes to go by Oakhill who made it 3 – 3. No more goals were scored which means that St. Albans will need at least a point from the final group match against Echoes Amber to guarantee qualification to the quarter finals.

ST ALBANS CITY YOUTH 0  v  4 NORTHWOOD

Back into the league competition with a full squad this was a new start.  The team were on top for the first half and the 0-2 scoreline was a travesty.  The visitors only had the two attacks whilst the home team missed chance after chance.  The second half saw a more even game but both goals came from mistakes.  A failure to deal with the ball in the penalty area, after a number of chances, was punished and then when a clearance was booted high and backwards by mistake the referee decided it was a back pass.  The girls appeared to tire and could no longer get distance in their passing and close down the opposition.

Under 12's

U12 girls come from behind to win place in County Cup final

The U12 girls were involved in a fantastic County Cup semi final against Bushey Rangers.

Having beaten Bushey twice this season the girls entered the game as favourites to progress to the final.

The early exchanges confirmed this as Hannah Ford put the Bushey goal keeper under pressure and manage to cross the ball for Grace Lewis to put the ball away after two minutes.

St Albans continued to press although Bushey looked dangerous on the break.

After 12 minutes St Albans scored a second, with an excellent through ball from Hayley Ladd finding Megan Wynne who managed to pass the ball to Grace Lewis who Finished to make the score 2-0.

St Albans continued to take the game to Bushey but despite a number of chances the girls didn't manage to find the final touch. Meanwhile Bushey continued to look dangerous on the break, and continued to make life difficult for St Albans.

After 25 minutes another St Albans attack was broken down by Bushey and a swift break on the left, followed by a pass into the centre and a clinical finish made the score 2-1.

On the stroke of half time Bushey broke again and scored with a move through the middle, to leave the score 2-2 at half time.

Bushey came out the stronger after half time and began to press for a third goal. The game became a real end to end affair with St Albans began to lose their shape. 10 minutes into the half Bushey were awarded a harsh penalty when Sam May was adjudged to have handled the ball when protecting her face. The penalty was despatched expertly to leave Bushey 3-2 up.

The next 10 minutes were fairly much end to end with half chances at both ends, with St Albans beginning to play more controlled football. However the game looked to be drifting out of St Albans reach until Megan Wynne ran on to a through ball beat a couple of players on the edge of the area and fired the ball into the far corner to make the score 3-3. A couple of minutes later a smart corner routine from the right between Josie Green and Megan Wynne saw Megan scoring her second to make the score 4-3. Hannah Ford then scored a fifth with a good break on the left. Finally yet another break from Winnie Wallace paid dividends as she exquisitely chipped the keeper for Megan Wynne to finish at the far post.

This was an excellent game of cup football for which both teams should be praised. Bushey pushed St Albans all the way and should be congratulated for the way the fought back from 2-0 down. On another day they could well have won. The St Albans Girls however showed real grit and determination, and refused to accept defeat. In the end they were worthy winners in a game that was a real advert for girls football.

All the St Albans team emerged with great credit. Lucy Hancock had an excellent game in goal, the defence of Erin Fogarty, Megan Shaw, Sam May, Lucy Mann, Rachel Sherlow and Abi Mann coped really well with the lightning fast breaks Bushey created. Grace Lewis, Josie Green, Hayely Ladd, Megan Wynne and Alea Brooke all had really good games in midfield, whilst Winnie Wallace and Hannah Ford were constant threats to Bushey with their pace.

Player of the match went to Grace Lewis who's first half performance was outstanding.

Three more points

St Albans U12 East played the vengeful host to league leaders Edmonton Rangers Sharks, and put in an outstanding performance to win by a magnificent seven goals to one.

From the kick-off St Albans had a totally different mid-set from the previous encounter between the two sides and attacked up the muddy slope with vigour. On 4 minutes they took the lead when Goro Nishioka's legs were taken from behind and the ref had no doubt in pointing to the spot, Charlie Hunter kept his cool and side-stepped the puddle to stroke the ball in the corner of the net. The second came 3 minutes later when Goro chased a ball from Kieran Donovan to slide it past the keeper and with quarter of an hour gone the game was almost safe when the third hit the back of the net. This came from an inswinging Dean Kemp corner which deflected off two defenders before Lee Close's outstretched shin got the final touch. Another powerful run on goal saw Goro crash home the fourth, before he was substituted by Aidan Fortune who was then unlucky not to have a penalty just inside the box.

The second half saw no let-up in the pressure, and a couple of week's pent-up frustration was wrought on the Edmonton players with the City backfour of Brodie Hollis, Charlie, Jacob Wroe and Eddie Gray winning most tackles and nullifying Edmonton's tall striker. Three minutes after the break Lee Close got his second with a nonchalent finish past the Edmonoton keeper, before he unselfishly set up Aidan Fortune who was unmarked in front of goal. With the fresh legs of James Lowthian and George Bullock on for Max O'Shea and Brodie, St Albans were in seventh heaven when Louis McNamara ghosted in from the left wing to slot the ball home. In the final minute keeper Tom Coulton pulled off a brilliant diving save, but Edmonton got a late consolation from the resultant corner.... but who cared by then!

This was the best display of the season on a very difficult pitch, and we just hope we can keep it up til the season's end. 10/10 for Attitude and Effort. Well done to Goro who has now scored 101 goals for St Albans City Youth in only his third season.

U12 East: Coulton; Hollis (Bullock), Wroe, Hunter, Gray; McNamara (Lowthian), Donovan, Kemp, O'Shea; Nishioka (Fortune), Close.

St Albans City West 11 Evergreen Juniors 1

 

Super Show

An unselfish attitude from the whole team saw West put together some really good passing moves and team performance.  George Figg, Matt Peckham and Tom Weaver all worked really hard in the midfield and Carl Biggs had an excellent game at right back with regular well timed balls up the wing.  Ryan Rickard up front clocked up a hat trick the best of these from an excellent George corner that Ryan back heeled in from two foot in the air from the edge of the 6 yard box.  Carl and Stuart Cole also scored one each with solid struck efforts from the edge of the penalty area. Cole Beels was on fire with 6 goals, his first hat trick took just 7 minutes.  All the goals were well taken but his third was an exquisite volley from a great cross from George that he absolutely buried in the back of the net.  His 5th came after a superb run and cross from Charlie Rainsford and the sixth was a great lob after TJ flicked on a Billy Sitek throw.  The only goal conceded was 2 minutes from time from a poor clearance.   

Under 11's

Back in the winning routine

St Albans Under 11 West beat Abbots Youth 4 - 0 at home in the League. The young Saints needed to get a win behind them after having lost the last few matches. They started well and after 9 minutes Toby Sakata finished from his own flick on. The goal caused some controversy as the linesman had flagged for offside. Ref Tom Armstrong checked with the linesman and awarded the goal as the player offside was not interfering with play!. The second followed 10 minutes later after a good through ball from David Towndrow found Harvey Scott who finished excellently on his second attempt. The first half finished 2 - 0 with the ball only entering the City half a couple of times. Five minutes into the second half Toby Sakata broke free and scored his second. Harvey Scott then did the same a minute later taking the score to 4 - 0. Matthew Rodford was replaced in goal by Dominic Oliver. Matthew and Ben Lee had a few chances to appear on the score sheet but were denied by some good goalkeeping. The match today was won by excellent defending from Captain James Pellington, Chris Hudson, Alistair Sandiford and Ben Attewell and some hard work in midfield by Jack Evans, Carl Palin and man of the match Joe Crawshaw.

 

23rd January 2005

Under 14's

Nightmare for the manager

The poor pitch was no excuse as the Under 14's West were annihilated 5-0 at home to Alexandra Park.

City went down inside of 10 minutes due to lack of communication between the City defenders and goalkeeper. Alexandra then scored again when a corner came across which was headed in by the unfortunate City defender on the front post. City’s half just got worse when an Alexandra player ran straight through the defence, and even the City goalkeeper’s dive at full stretch could not stop the goal which secured Alexandra’s half time lead at 3-0.

Second half Alexandra Park looked the most likely to score, having most of the possession. City then went another goal down when another corner caused problems as an Alexandra player was allowed a free header at the back post. City strikers had a quiet morning, creating very few chances throughout. With 15 minutes left, yet another corner was not dealt with by City defenders, and the Alexandra man at the back post slotted in the 5th goal of the game. Conor Divine received Man of the Match for a great game at the back, who didn’t put a foot wrong. A rather embarrassing 5-0 defeat for City means that it would take a miracle to replenish any championship hopes for this season.

 

Under 13's

 

Harpenden Colts 1 v 6 Under 13's North

In the League Cup Group A, the U/13’s North played against Harpenden Colts Jaguars from the White Division.

The team got off to a flying start and were 3 – 0 ahead inside the first fifteen minutes with goals from Mark Hiller, Luke Campion and Luke Thatcher. It was more or less one way traffic for the remainder of the first period although it took until just before half time for St. Albans to score their fourth from Charles Norman after a corner from the right.

In the second half, Harpenden put up more of a fight although they rarely threatened to score. Sam Wilson made it 5 – 0 before Harpenden scored a consolation goal to make it 5 – 1. The final goal of the game was scored by Toby Irish in the last few minutes to make the final score 6 – 1 to the U/13’s North for an easy win.

 

Under 12's

 

East into the County Cup Semi Final

 

 

After tasting defeat in the last two matches St Albans City Youth's U12 East put in a solid performance to successfully negiotiate a tricky quarter final against John Warner Youth, winning by three goals to one.

Playing uphill in the first half St Albans' defence of Hollis, Wroe, Hunter and Gray looked secure this week and formed the platform of a series of attacks. Speedster Louis McNamara gave his opposite number plenty of trouble down the right wing and it was his pin point cross which led to the first goal, which Goro Nishioka tapped in. Several other chances via the boots of Lee Close and Dean Kemp were created, with the JWY keeper just recovering in time to fall on a spilled shot. Just before half-time Lee jinked his way into the box and was hauled down, but after a long delay Max O'Shea's penalty was well saved. In the second half St Albans got the perfect start when Jacob's long punt forward was headed down into Max's path, who diverted it just the goal side of the post for a 2 goal cushion. With 15 minutes to go the hosts played their best football and unluckily for St Albans' Will Northage's clearance smacked Eddie in the face and the ball evaded Tom Coulton for an easy tap-in. Goro Nishioka settled the away supporters' nerves with his second goal with five minutes to go - struck just inside the side netting after committed work but Kieran Donovan and James Lowthian. 

At the end of the match John Warner Youth looked pleased just to concede the three goals when it should have been 5 or 6. In a game where all the lads showed total committment, twin centrebacks Charlie Hunter was a commanding figure and Jacob Wroe was a collosus until the effects of the Calpol wore off! The lads can look forward to their home Semi Final against Wormley Youth or Bury Rangers on 27 February.

U12 East: Coulton; Hollis, Wroe (Northage), Hunter, Gray; McNamara, Kemp, Donovan, O'Shea (Lowthian); Nishioka, Close.

 

One of those days?

West were robbed of 2 points with 4 or 5 shots just wide of the post, 2 possible penalty decisions not given and a goal mouth scramble cleared.  Everett played well in the first half but West defended well, Charlie Craigen and Jamie Heaffey played particularly well, subduing any threats with some good challenges.  West went one up after Jamie put a lovely through ball to Cole Beels whose run and early well struck effort sailed over the keepers head.  It looked like West would score at any moment with some good work from Ryan Rickard and George Figg in the midfield, and Jack Siberry when substituted also put through some well weighted through balls but it was not to be.  In the second half West totally dominated but they could not find the back of the net and then 2 minutes from time they were caught pushing forward by a long run from an Everett player who beat several challenges, and the ball deflected through an unlucky keepers legs.  It was their only shot on target and it should not have mattered as West should have been 2 or 3 up, but it was one of those days!  

 

16th January 2005

Under 18's

Another 3 Points for the West

After the excellent County Cup victory over Harpenden Town last week, much was expected as West fielded an unchanged side for this league fixture.  But after 15 minutes West were two goals down, with not a single player performing as they should.  It was dreadful, and sharper finishing from Aces might have made matters worse.

West began to get a grip after 20 minutes, led by a rejuvenated Lou Lattuca, who had come on for the injured Tillbrook. On a bog of a pitch, Lattuca’s biting tackles paid dividends, winning West an increasing amount of possession.  His enthusiasm was matched by Clark, fresh from duty on the bench for St Albans City 1st team on Saturday. James and Ferdinand both tested the ‘keeper, a Hawes free-kick came close, and a Smith header went narrowly wide, but West could not get a goal back before the break.

After some sharp words at half-time, normal service was swiftly resumed.  West laid siege to Aces goal, with Bailey and Gray pushing forward down the flanks.  The spark to start the goal rush was the introduction of Patterson, another who has been with the St Albans 1st team in recent weeks.  His speed and physical presence immediately caused problems, and on only his second run down the right he found Ferdinand who played a superb ball across the goal to give Godden an easy chance.  Within a minute West were back on terms, Jaravaza robbing the defender to release Ferdinand to place a low shot beyond the ‘keeper.  Ferdinand then saw two headers go narrowly wide, both from crosses by Gray.  Another Gray pass then set Jaravaza clear, who cut inside the fullback and curled a glorious shot into the top corner from 30 yards.

With Aces forced to push on, West then gabbed another in the closing minutes, Gray setting Jaravaza away down the left.  His cross-field ball put Clark through, and he finished neatly after rounding the ‘keeper.

West won this game in midfield, where Lattuca and Clark were outstanding, despite the appalling playing surface.

Team:  Kosky; Bailey, Tillbrook (Lattuca 19), Smith, Gray; Godden (Phillipps 83), Hawes, Clark, Jaravaza; James (Patterson 63), Ferdinand

Under 14's

Points dropped

West playing away to a struggling Northwood side came away with a disappointing 3-3 draw.

In the first half West took a very early lead within 3 minutes through a good goal from Ben White, just managing to slide in before the two Northwood defenders. But Northwood hit back quickly scoring 3 times in the next 10 minutes, very feeble defending the key. But the rest of the 1st half was mainly possession in the centre of the pitch for both teams, so the Half time score remained at 3-1 to Northwood.

Second half City came out much more positively after a ‘to-the-point’ talk. With just 20 minutes remaining, Aaron Lumsden took a tumble in the Northwood box to enable Daniel Burtt to step up and convert from the spot. 5 minutes later Daniel Burtt scored his second of the match to equalize. City did deserve the draw, although this is not to say Northwood didn’t have their fair share of chances, but City held on to the precious point that so easily could have been 3. Daniel Burtt received Man of the Match for his 2 goals, he had a good game both out of position at centre-back, and in his usual centre of the midfield role.

Under 13's

Under 13's North 1 v 4 London Colney ( After extra time )

In the Herts County Cup quarter final, St. Albans U/13’s North were away to local rivals London Colney Colts. St. Albans attempted to play football but were hampered by the very muddy, sticky pitch. The game was fast and furious and very physical at times although never dirty. Neither side were able to create any clear cut scoring opportunities until five minutes before half time when Nathan Byrne picked up the ball just outside the Colney penalty area and unleashed a powerful low shot into the far corner of the net to make it 1 – 0.

The second half started in the same pattern as the first half, with neither team threatening each others goal. That changed after five minutes when the London Colneys midfielder, Cole Penny scored a wonderful goal that started on the half way line and finished with him slotting the ball past Harry Honeywood after beating five City players. Pure magic!!! Colney took the initiative and started to put the pressure on but St. Albans defended desperately to keep the scores level. In the last ten minutes of normal time, St. Albans came back at Colney and started to look dangerous and likely to score. Unfortunately, the full time whistle came too soon and the game went into extra time. The St. Albans players had given everything and had no more to give. London Colney piled on the pressure and scored two goals in two minutes in the first period of extra time and rubbed salt into the wound with another in the second period to make the final score 4 – 1 to London Colney. The boys gave everything but on the day it was not enough.

Last Cup game

The last  of the League Cup games for the Under 13's Girls, thank goodness, against another team, Hoddesden, from the higher division.  We had a big hole in the middle of defence due to two absent players and the home team made full use of the hesitation and bright sun to create havoc.  We did very well in taking the game to the opposition and created many chances but the home goalkeeper was exceptional, dominating the whole pitch, a remarkable feat.  The girls never gave up and battled to the end, better finishing should have produced at least one goal.

Hannah Reardon took over as Captain and led the team really well.  Two of the new girls Rochelle Pye, who played central defence in the second half and Megan Bebb caught the eye.  However it was Rebecca Kellner who won the Player of the Match award for a battling display at left back.

Under 12's

West have true "Bouncebackability"

A superb team performance saw the Under 12's West bounce back from an unlucky result last week. The match against local rivals St Albans Rangers started poorly despite some good work from George Figg and Matt Peckham in the midfield as West like the previous week failed to take their chances.  West should not have found themselves one down as Rangers rarely found the target, but a dipping and spinning long range effort just beat the unlucky keeper after 10 minutes.  They were again punished when they failed to clear 15 minutes later and the ball eventually fell to a Rangers player who could not miss from the edge of the six yard box.  West as always when behind showed real spirit and were rewarded in injury time when an excellent Matt through ball set Scott Howlett away, who slotted past the keeper, although a slight deflection almost allowed the defender to clear off the line but it just crossed.

The second half down the hill was dominated by West. Joe  Maliszewski in goal was rarely troubled as the West defence put in a rock solid performance and Joe Murtagh in particular put in some good early challenges.  The real difference however was Cole Beels and Scott up front who fed by Tom Weaver, George and Matt from the midfield constantly harrassed the Rangers defence.  The equaliser came from a TJ Ansell throw in which found Cole on the edge of the box who struck a superb shot into the top corner.  The deserved winner came from Cole who finished with real class from an excellent Scott through ball.  Top of the table Rangers have not conceded more than two in any game this season so this was a top class performance from West and a well deserved team victory.   

U12 girls beat Bushey in close encounter

The U12 girls beat Bushey Rangers 5-2 in a friendly. Despite the score line the game was very close.

In the first half St Albans played with the wind and slope. Despite a number of chances after fifteen minutes the score remained 0-0. At the other end Bushey were also looking dangerous.

On twenty minutes the deadlock was broken when Megan Wynne broke on the right and fired a great shot into the far corner.

Half time came with score 1-0.

The second half started with Bushey on the attack. The wind unsettle the St Albans defence and five minutes into the second half Bushey scored from a long ball to make the score 1-1.

Five minutes later Bushey scored again but the goal was ruled out for offside. Bushey continued to press and scored a second a couple of minutes later to take the lead.

The girls rallied strongly and began to take the game to Bushey, a shot off the post was followed up well by Hayley Ladd to make the score 2-2.

Soon after Wninie Wallace made the score 3-2 with a well taken goal. The game began fairly stretched with chances at both ends before Megan Wynne scored twice towards the end of the game to make the final score 5-2.

Player of the match was Hayley Ladd with an excellenet display in the middle of midfield.

Two on the bounce

Despite a considerable improvement in attitude and commitment after last week's debacle, the U12 East suffered their second defeat on the trot going down to Harpenden Colts Falcons by two goals to one in the league.

 

St Albans had much of the play but leaked two almost identical goals to the visitors in the first half. On both occasions the Falcons played balls down the left hand side which were fired in, not cleared and converted by their unmarked right winger. Between Harpenden's twin strikes St Albans replied with a Charlie Hunter goal who beat the offside trap from a well timed through ball. Throughout the remainder of the match St Albans pushed on but couldn't hit the back of the net. Aidan Fortune went close with a snap-shot volley and when Lee Close ran through the defence his shot beat the keeper but skimmed past the post. In the dying minutes a Jacob Wroe strike flew wide and a Lee header went agonisingly the wrong side of the goalpost from a corner.

 

On the playing side Tom Coulton in goal had an assured match with Brodie Hollis and Will Northage steady in defence. Overall a disappointing result but the boys can hold their heads high and with a bit more confidence will soon be back on the winning road. Next week they travel to Hoddesdon and face John Warner Youth in the County Cup Quarter finals.

 

U12 East: Coulton; Northage (Wilson), Hollis, Gray (c); McNamara, Hunter, Wroe, Lowthian (Bullock), O'Shea; Fortune (Nishioka), Close.

Under 11's

Lions take a bite

St Albans City West lost 6 - 1 to Aldenham Lions. The start was delayed as we waited for a referee that never arrived !! When the first half got started we didn't with Aldenham scoring twice in the first five minutes. Carl Palin then worked hard down the right and scored the goal of the game pulling City back to 2 - 1. Unfortunately luck had completely run out and two more Aldenham goals went in and only 13 minutes had passed. The game then leveled out with no more goals. City were last to every ball and only managed to get into half time 4 - 1 down thanks to some good keeping by Matthew Rodford. The second half saw all the pace taken out of the game as Aldenham seemed content with their lead. A change round briefly gave some hope although left us exposed at the back. Two more goals ten minutes from full time finished the scoring 6 - 1. A disappointing display. With man of the match for City going to Carl Palin.

 

9th January 2005

Under 14's

First win in three for the West

An excellent performance from St Albans West against Hemel Aces was rewarded by their first win in 3.

City went 1-0 down very early on from a corner, which was spilt by goalkeeper Matt Bennett and was unluckily turned in by City midfielder Ben White. But the City players did not give up and battled to try and equalize. However, a mix up between City defenders allowed the quick thinking Hemel Aces to capitalize once again. But City continued pushing, and the quick passing play between the strikers allowed Aaron Lumsdon to sneak in and score a well-taken goal. Half time score 2-1 to Hemel Aces.

 

Second half City continued to dominate the game with all the boys putting in 110% throughout. Half way through the second half, Aaron Lumsdon popped up again scoring a terrific goal from a very tight angle to

secure his 14th goal of the season. In the last 10 minutes, City broke through Daniel Burtt played a first-class ball over the Hemel defenders for Nick Glasgow to latch on to and strike sweetly past the Hemel keeper. City then withheld the final attacks from Hemel Aces to claim their 7th league victory of the campaign. Final score 3-2 to St Albans. Ethan Fogarty received Man of the Match for a solid game at left back.

Under 13's

Under 13's North 1 v 3 Echoes

The U/13’s North were up against title favourites Echoes in what was always going to be a tough fixture. The game was fairly even for the first twenty minutes but Echoes took the lead when their right midfielder got the better of left back Ben Talbot and crossed to the far post. Harry Honeywood could do nothing as the cross sailed into the far top corner of the net. St. Albans were caught napping just before half time when the same Echoes right winger crossed in to one of his team mates who had drifted into the danger zone unmarked and put the ball away to make the score 2 – 0.

In the second half, there was nothing to choose between the two teams but St. Albans could not create any scoring opportunities. Time was ticking away but with fifteen minutes left, top scorer Luke Thatcher latched onto a through ball and hit a terrific shot from twenty five yards that went into the net after hitting the underside of the crossbar for a tremendous goal. Suddenly, St. Albans were back in the game and piled on the pressure and had plenty of good possession. However, Echoes have the best defence in the league and soaked up everything that came at them. Echoes killed the game off in the last few minutes when they broke down the other end of the pitch and scored to make the final score 3 – 1.

High Praise for the 13's Girls

Not many teams can go down by this score but go home pleased and having high praise ringing in their ears but that was the Saints Under 13's Girls after the match against Q.P.R..  This was a meeting of the best and weakest teams in the League.  There was only going to be one result.  The excellent QPR team showed skill, speed  and strength from the start that allowed them to rapidly score three goals.  The girls did not give up but tried to raise their efforts to the demands made of them.  Desperate challenges disrupted the midfield, clearances were hammered into the trees, bodies were put between ball and goal in the danger area.  The visitors had to battle to keep on top of the game.  They did not dare risk substitutions.  A breakaway in the final seconds almost brought what would have been a deserved goal but a final touch allowed the keeper to pounce.  Everyone played their part.  Rebecca Atkins led the team through her great example.  The new girls began to settle, learning to play in very difficult circumstances.

Under 12's

Oopp's

Under 12's East 1 Borehamwood 2000 6 (Challenge cup, Rd2)

Hunter

Entry: Woeful Part of Speech: adjective Definition: sad

Synonyms: afflicted, agonized, anguished, appalling, awful, bad, calamitous, catastrophic, cruel, deplorable, disappointing, disastrous, disconsolate, disgraceful, distressing, doleful, dreadful, feeble, gloomy, grieving, grievous, grim, heartbreaking, heartrending, heartsick, hopeless, inadequate, lamentable, lousy, mean, miserable, mournful, paltry, pathetic, piteous, pitiable, pitiful, plaintive, poor, racked, rotten, shocking, sorrowful, sorry, terrible, tortured, tragic, unfortunate, unhappy, wretched.

Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.1.1)

The wheels come off at QPR

Having had week after week of superb performances, it was inevitable that the U12 girls would put in a below par performance at some stage. Unfortunately it was against an excellent QPR side who have scored almost 100 goals already this season in the top division.

The girls gave their opponents too much time and space throughout the first half, and QPR showed what a good side they are with a display of passing, powerful running and shooting that our side had not encountered this season. The score was 9-0 at half time, but was not entirely representative of the game as St Albans had probably 40% of the ball, and a number of really good chances.

To their credit the girls came out in a much better frame of mind in the second half and really tried to take the game to their opponents. St Albans got to grips with the powerful QPR midfield and attack much better, and in what was a fairly even half Megan Wynne scored a good goal. The final score was 12-1.

Player of the match was Lucy Mann, who never gave up and improved greatly as the game progressed.

4 week break takes its toll

The first game for 4 weeks and it showed as the Under 12's West struggled to get started against Oakhill and missed several opportunities, the best from Luke Jeffery who fired a shot just over the bar and Scott Howlett who had a great shot saved by an excellent Oakhill keeper. Wests new keeper Joe Malizewski had a solid start and dealt well with the few efforts Oakhill managed to get on target as they also struggled to take their chances as well.  Man of the match Elliott Jay and Charlie Craigen made some timely tackles to keep it 0-0 at half time.  The second half saw a much better West performance with Ryan Rickard and George Figg sending some good through balls to the forwards but West were thwarted by some excellent goalkeeping and poor finishing.  Oakhill broke the deadlock with a superbly struck effort that Joe nearly pushed over the crossbar but it was hit too well.  Shortly after George Figg looked like he had chipped the keeper to equalise but it just crept over the crossbar.  Oakhill always looked dangerous and unfortunately scored again 6 minutes from the end.  West never a team to give up kept battling and Georges pass down the wing found Jon Mallaburn who took the ball the length of the pitch and slotted past the keeper.  West then had one shot cleared off the line and Charlie Craigens glancing header from a corner on the stroke of full time was somehow bundled away although it looked like it crossed the line.  West did not deserve to lose but they must take their chances.         

Under 11's

Bad Luck for the 11's West

St Albans City Youth Under 11s West lost 1 - 0 away to Highgate and Muswell Hill. The first half started brightly and the rebound from a Laurence Blow strike was netted by Alistair Sandiford. Unfortunately the goal was disallowed for an earlier offside. Not Deterred City played well and a Harvey Scott took a chance well but the goal was not given as the ball did not cross the line?. The first half finished 0 - 0 just as Harvey had broken through. The second half saw HMH go ahead with their only shot on target which just bobbled under Mathew Rodford. There were many more chances for the young Saints in the second half but unfortunately they failed to produce a more than deserved goal. Man of the Match goes to Alistair for his debut goal that never was.

2nd January 2005

Under 18's

New Year back with a win

West got back to winning ways against Garston, but as ever this was a tough encounter.  On a pudding of a pitch West’s pacey forwards found it difficult to get going, but excellent work from Lock and Clark in the centre of midfield kept St Albans on top throughout the first half.  Time and again, passes split the Garston defence but West’s forwards could no finish. In the first half West had five one-on-one opportunities to beat the Garston ‘keeper, and all were squandered.

Garston stepped it up in the second period, putting Tillbrook and Smith under greater pressure.  Tillbrook had a fine game, as did Bailey at rightback.  And it was great to see Phillipps returning to the team after an injury-ravaged start to the season.  Kosky was rarely troubled, and on the one occasion when Garston did penetrate the shot flew 10 yards wide.

As the game went on, West again gained control.  Godden made a real difference when coming on, and it was his wide pass to Jaravaza that switched the play to set up the goal.  For once the flying Zimbabwean put in a cross with his left foot.  The ball came long to Patterson at the far post, who headed back across goal for Clark to pick his spot.

Garston threw everyone forward in the final minutes and forced the ball home from a free-kick, but two players were ruled off-side. With game now opening up, West should have sealed it when Patterson twice broke away down the right.  A good three point in the bag.   

Team:  Kosky; Bailey, Tillbrook, Smith, Phillipps (Lattuca, 67); Patterson, Lock, Clark, Jaravaza, James (Godden, 60), Ferdinand.    

Under 14's

14's Need that "Bouncebackability"

Playing away to Alexandra Park Youth would have been a good chance to bounce back from their first defeat the game before Christmas. But, with just 13 players available, and carrying a few injuries, it was always going to be a tough occasion.

In the first 15 mins West had most of the possession, although this was not reflected in the awarding of a penalty for handball in the box. However, this was saved well by goalkeeper Matthew Bennett. Against the run of play it must be said, Alexandra then scored 2 quick goals due to poor defending. Half time score 2-0 to Alexandra Park.

Second half Alexandra Park looked the most likely to score, having most of the possession in the middle of the park, but couldn’t turn this into attacking opportunities, due to solid defending from City’s back 4. But City strikers did not have the opportunity to equalize due to poor passing from the midfield, although City did have a shot cleared off the line from the struggling Alexandra park defenders. Final score 2-0 to Alexandra Park. Jamie Peters received Man of the Match for a great game at the back.

 

Under 13's

13's North battle for a point

In their first game in 2005 the U/13’s North battled out a 2 – 2 draw with Borehamwood 2000 in the league. St. Albans played down the hill in the first half and was the better side but could not turn the pressure into goals. Luke Thatcher and Elliott Goward could and should have opened the scoring but either missed the target or shot straight at the keeper. The boggy pitch and long grass played its part and made it difficult to play good football but both teams tried their best. Five minutes before the break, Luke Thatcher put St. Albans into a deserved lead with a well taken goal to make it 1 – 0.

In the second half St. Albans were playing up the hill, which was always going to be difficult in the boggy conditions. Within five minutes of the restart, Borehamwood scored two quick goals, which were both down to uncharacteristic defensive errors. Borehamwood continued to pressure but were unable to increase their lead through a mixture of good keeping by Harry Honeywood and desperate defending by the City defence. With time running out it looked as though St. Albans were heading for their second successive defeat. Fortunately, Luke Thatcher equalised with five minutes remaining when he scored from just inside the penalty area to make the final score 2 – 2.

Under 12's

U12 girls beat local rivals in friendly

The U12 girls beat local rivals Harvesters 4-3 in a post Christmas friendly.

With Christmas and the New Year taking its toll St Albans were down to a bare 11, and Harvesters had three U10 boys in their 13.

The game started fairly evenly with Harvesters having slightly more of the ball but St Albans looking dangerous on the break.

After 12 minutes Winnie Wallace scored with a powerful shot to make the score 1-0 to St Albans.

Harvesters came straight back from the kick off, with their most dangerous player dribbling through the defence. She unleashed a powerful shot which stand in goal keeper Lucy Mann was unlucky not to save. She got both hands to the ball but the pace of the shot meant she couldn't quite push it round the post. 1-1.

St Albans came back strongly and scored after 15 minutes when an excellent through ball from Michaela Fleming released Hannah Ford. Her pace sent her past the Harvesters defence, and she finished coolly.

St Albans were now on top and a few minutes later Megan Wynne created the third goal, with an excellent turn and cross to Grace Lewis who rifled the ball into the net from close range.

Harvesters came back to make the score 3-2 before Grace Lewis scored again from close range to make the score 4-2 at half time.

The second half saw Grace Lewis (another debutant goal keeper) replacing Lucy Mann in goal.

The game was fairly even with chances at both ends. The Harvesters Keeper made a number of good saves, whilst Grace did the same at the other end coming out bravely on a number of occasions.

With eight minutes to go one of the Harvesters forwards (a boy!!!) managed to run through the St Albans defence to make the score 4-3, to set up a good finish to the game.

St Albans finished the stronger but despite a number of chances couldn't increase their lead.

Too much turkey

Perhaps it was too much stuffing over Christmas since the lads from the 12's East played like turkeys for most of the match, but still managed to salvage a point against Everett Blue with two late goals. In a match where no-one played particularly well the boys found themselves two goals down just after half-time, and after two good penalty claims were turned down it didn't look like it would be the East's day. With 10 minutes remaining St Albans threw on their three subs and with a few positional changes finally started to win the ball in the middle. East made their breakthrough when Max O'Shea got free on the left and fired a low left foot shot past the keeper to half the deficit. Then they pummelled the Everett goal but Aidan Fortune's shot went across the face of the goal and Goro Nishioka's effort was saved. In the dying seconds Everett raced up the pitch and a goal looked certain before excellent covering from Mark Wilson, and keeper Tom Coulton combined to keep Everett at bay. From this point Tom's downfield clearance found Louis McNamara and Jacob Wroe who picked out Charlie Hunter in space on the right wing. Charlie's hard angled shot from the edge of the box skimmed past the keeper to earn the lads an unlikely point which maintains their unbeaten league run.

U12 East: Coulton; Hunter, Wroe, Gray; McNamara, Donovan (Fortune), Kemp (Wilson), Bullock (Northage), O'Shea; Nishioka, Close.

 

19th December 2004

 

Under 13's

First defeat in 13

The U/13’s North lost for the first time in thirteen games since September to local rivals London Colney by two goals to one. St. Albans started well and took the game to Colney and looked the more likely to score. Luke Thatcher went close on numerous occasions and was eventually rewarded for his hard work with a goal ten minutes before half time. Luke Campion nearly doubled the lead with a well struck shot but was denied by the Colney keeper who made a tremendous save. The turning point in the game came a few minutes before half time when Nathan Byrne dribbled through the Colney defence only to be brought down inside the penalty area. Unfortunately, the referee didn’t give the penalty and the score at half time remained at 1 – 0.

Two minutes into the second period, the City defence were caught cold and allowed a cross from the left to find the Colney centre forward who equalised from close range. Colney continued to apply pressure and were awarded a penalty, a carbon copy of the one that wasn’t given earlier in the game when Nathan Byrne was fouled. Harry Honeywood in goal for City tried his best but stood no chance with the penalty kick that gave Colney a 2 – 1 lead. St. Albans tried desperately to find an equaliser but were thwarted by the in - form Colney keeper on numerous occasions. Final score, 2 – 1 to London Colney. The U/13’s North will be looking for revenge on January 16th when they meet London Colney in the County Cup quarter – finals

Under 12's

A game of two halfs

St Albans U12 East travelled to 3rd place Bedmond Ajax Red and came away with a flattering 4-1 victory after being a goal down at half-time.

Perhaps it was the impending Christmas celebrations but St Albans started the match in a generous mood and when the defence was caught out of position Bedmond were gifted the opener after 4 minutes. On reflection the team didn't play well in the first half but somehow kept Bedmond at bay and almost got an equaliser when Aidan Fortune's header from a Charlie Hunter corner went topside of the bar. With the slope and slight wind in St Albans favour in the second half the lads soon started to turn the screw. The pressure resulted in Charlie being brought down 25 yards out from the Bedmond goal and upped stepped 'newly converted centreback' Dean Kemp to get the team back on even terms. Dean's freekick arrowed into the top left hand corner, Tierry Henry eat your heart out! With the midfield now functioning much more as a unit, St Albans piled on the pressure which saw Jacob Wroe crash home the second after Max O'Shea's shot came off the underside of the bar. Several minutes later and a Jacob through ball to Lee Close saw him coolly lob the keeper for a 3-1 lead. With 5 minutes to go and two penalty decisions turned down, a Charlie freekick into the box was hooked into the top right hand corner by human contortionist Goro Nishioka who had his back to goal.

Overall a game of two contrasting halves but a great result which sees the BeSport Boys take the Christmas No. 1 slot in the WFL's Premier Red Division. Special mention to Tom Coulton who again pulled off an amazing diving save at 2-1, winger Louis McNamara who was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, inspirational Captain Eddie Gray at left back and James Lowthian who had a solid game in midfield.  

U12 East: Coulton; Hollis (Northage), Kemp, Gray (capt); McNamara, Wroe, Hunter, Lowthian (Maher), O'Shea; Nishioka, Fortune (Close).

Under 11's

Well done Captain Lewis

St Albans City Youth U11 West drew 1 - 1 with Harvesters North. The first half got of to a great start with a goal from Laurence Blow finishing precisely a rebounded shot by David Towndrow. More pressure by City could have been rewarded but Harvesters responded well to the early set back and got back into the game. City hung on and went in 1 - 0 at the break. More work was needed in midfield and Joe Crawshaw provided some needed challenges. Harvesters had more of the ball and a goal looked likely. After the equaliser City found new energy and pressured well. Towards the end of the game, with a little bit more luck, we could have stolen the points. Once again a good team effort and we will now enjoy a well deserved Christmas break. Man of the match goes Captain Lewis Baxendine playing his last game for City youth as he is moving to America (good luck Lewis). .

12th December 2004

Under 18's

Should have been all over at half time?

Another draw, and another two points dropped that will surely cost West dear come the end of the season.  It should have been all over by half-time.  Bailey twice shot just over, and then hit the ball straight at the keeper when put through, and from a string of corners and goalmouth scrabbles West just could not score. 

Patience brought its reward after the break when first Ferdinand came close, and from the resulting corner Clark headed firmly home.  From the restart West then committed the cardinal sin of relaxing, and Harpenden scored an undeserved headed equaliser.  Matters got worse five minutes later when another cross from the right caused the defence to get in a muddle when under no pressure, and the ball bounced back from Kosky to hit Tillbrook in the face and roll into the net. 

The injured Jaravaza now came on, and rejuvenated West.  For the final 20 minutes in was one-way traffic, as he energetically led the attack.  He got his own reward with a finely struck equaliser, and then curled another good effort around the post.  In the final minutes Ferdinand struck a post.  That would have given West a victor their attacking play merited, but one that their woeful defending did not. 

This was undoubtedly West’s most disappointing performance of 2004.  In this calendar year, West have won 19 matches, drawn 4 and lost 5.  Among those games, only two league matches have been lost.  But with six league games left in the current season, West will need to take maximum points to secure the title.  This squad has the talent, but do they have the grit and determination?

Team:  Kosky; Lattuca, Tillbrook, Smith, Gray; Patterson (Phillipps, 84), Bailey, Clark, Godden, James (Jaravaza, 72), Ferdinand.    

 

Under 13's

Great result

In the second round of the Challenge Cup the U/13’s North beat Riverside Hibernians ‘White’ from the Green Division and will play Oakhill Tigers ‘Amber’, currently top of the White Division in the third round. The goal scorers were - Luke Thatcher with a ‘hat trick’, a brace from Josh Towle and singles by Toby Irish and Nathan Byrne.

St. Albans were caught cold when Riverside took the lead in the fourth minute with a terrific left foot shot into the top corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area. Six minutes later Toby Irish equalised with a good goal when he placed a right foot shot just inside the far post from fifteen yards. Riverside played a risky game and pushed up trying to catch the St. Albans forwards offside at every opportunity. Their ploy worked until the seventeenth minute when Josh Towle timed his run perfectly and with just the keeper to beat, scored with a low shot to make it 2 – 1. Seven minutes later, with virtually his first touch of the ball, Luke Thatcher scored the first of his hat trick when he followed up a parried save by the keeper to put the ball into an empty net to make it 3 – 1. Just before half time, Josh Towle scored his second when he beat the offside trap again and fired in a powerful low shot for City’s fourth.

With just two minutes played in the second half, Luke Thatcher scored his second and City’s fifth with another ‘one on one’ with the keeper and went on to complete his hat trick with a powerful right foot shot after being put through by Luke Campion. With a commanding 6 – 1 lead and the game effectively over, St. Albans relaxed and allowed Riverside to score two goals in the fiftieth and fifty fifth minute to make the score 6 – 3. Two minutes later, a Sam Wilson corner from the left was met by Nathan ( ‘call me Alan Shearer’ ) Byrne with a bullet header into the back of the net for a final score of 7 – 3. The whole team played well especially Elliott Goward in an unfamiliar position at left back and all seven goals were superbly finished. The only slight disappointment was conceding three goals.

Under 12's

Into the next round of the County Cup

St Albans U12 East successfully negotiated a potentially tricky tie with a 5-0 win against Bengeo Tigers in Round 4 of the Herts County Cup.

East started strongly with four corners in the first 5 minutes but the home defence somehow held out. At the other end of the pitch Bengeo broke away and won a free-kick 25 yards, but keeper Tom Coulton was on his toes to athletically tip the incoming shot over the bar. (With some good defending by St Albans, this proved to be Tom's only action of the day). When a high ball was launched into the Tiger's box, Goro brought it down, controlled it and fired it past the keeper just inside the right hand post for the opener on 11 minutes. Two minutes later Jacob Wroe lobbed a ball over the defence and Goro kept his cool to slide it past the advancing keeper. By this time St Albans were in total control and when Lee Close galloped down the left hand side his telling cross was parried into the path of Jacob, who smashed it home on the volley for the third. Just before half-time St Albans made it four when Jacob scored his 10th goal of the season with a simple tap-in from Goro's pass. With the result secured by half-time St Albans rang the changes in the second half. Despite much possession and several half-chances it wasn't until the final 5 minutes that the lads got the fifth when Mark Wilson ghosted in at the far post to post his first goal of the season. Other chances in the half fell to replacement striker Eddie Gray who broke through the defence only to see his shot deflected off the keeper's stomach, Dean Kemp had a goal-bound free-kick saved and Charlie Hunter's header fell just wide.

After last week's opening defeat the lads can be content with a comfortable win which sees progress into the Quarter Finals.

U12 East: Coulton; Northage, Kemp, Gray (Bullock); McNamara, Wroe, Hunter, Donovan (Hollis), O'Shea (Wilson); Nishioka, Close.

 

U12 girls beat Luton in exciting encounter

The U12 girls gained revenge from a defeat earlier in the season when they beat Luton Town Belles 5-3 in what was an excellent game of football.
Playing in the group stage of the league cup they won 5-3 against a team who had won all but one of their previous games this season.
The first ten minutes of the game were fairly even with most of the action taking place in midfield. St Albans then started taking a grip of the game, forcing 6 corners in a row. With the Luton Town girls pinned in their own box, the pressure finally told with Winnie Wallace scoring from close range.
Three minutes later Megan Wynne released Winnie Wallace with an excellent through ball, and her pace took her past the defence. Her shot was well saved by the keeper, however she could parry it and Hannah Ford following up well put the ball in the back of the net.
St Albans continued to press although Luton began to look more dangerous on the break. After 25 minutes following another St Albans corner Megan Wynne passed the ball to Hayley Ladd just inside the area and her excellent shot found the back of the net to make the score 3-0.
It seemed as though the game would be over, however St Albans went to sleep from the kick off, and the dangerous Luton no. 3 burst through the midfield and defence to send an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
Luton then hit the post but the score remained 3-1 at half time.
The goal obviously gave Luton heart and they came out at the start of the second half a different team, putting pressure on the St Albans defence right from the kick off. 5 minutes into the second half Luton put together a menacing break. Lucy Hancock in goal made a good save but couldn't hold onto the ball which was pounced upon by one of Luton forwards for a simple tap in. 3-2 and all to play for.
Luton continued to press forward as did St Albans, but there were no further goals until ten minutes from the end when Megan Wynne put Winnie Wallace through. She ran in on goal, kept her cool beat the keeper to make the score 4-2.
To their credit Luton refused to give up and continued to look dangerous. With 2 minutes to go following a Luton corner, the ball bobbled around in the St Albans box. The girls could not clear and a Luton forward stabbed the ball home to make the score 4-3.
With a minute remaining Alea Brooke broke down the left beat two players and played the ball down the line. Michaella Fleming latched onto the ball cut inside and hit an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box to make the final score 5-3.
This was another excellent team performance from the girls, against a very strong Luton side. All the girls played really well.
Player of the match was Winnie Wallace who had her best performance of the season.

"Bouncebackability" Continues for the West

A comfortable victory for West.  Jon Mallaburn scored 4 and Stuart Cole, Ryan Rikard, Matt Peckham, Charlie Craigen, Joe Murtagh and Tom Weaver got the rest.  The West defence were never really troubled in this one sided affair.  However, it could have been a lot more if a few of the West players had been a little less selfish on the ball as they created lots of opportunities but always tried to score.  Matt Peckham and Jack Siberry shared man of the match as they constantly kept trying to create opportunities for others and did create 3 of the goals.  Ryan Rickard in goal and Stuart Cole as virtually the lone defender in the second half did stick to their task well and thwarted the occasional break out. 

Well done West

A really excellent team performance from the Under 12's West against Croxley falcons with every player contributing to a fine win.  Scott Howlett opened the scoring from an excellent Matt Peckham cross after 9 mins but Croxley struck back 2 mins later.  West always looked the better team and George Figg, Tom Weaver, Ryan Rickard and Matt Peckham had some excellent link up play and kept the forwards regularly fed with excellent through balls.  Croxley defended resolutely and cleared several off the line until Jon Mallaburn put in a fine cross for George to bury in the top of the net.  West dominated the second half and it started well when Luke Jeffery, who had a great game in defence along with Stuart Cole,  put a superb ball through to Scott Howlett who outpaced the defender and finished coolly.  Jon Mallaburn was next up and looked like he had taken too long on a Scott pass but he left the Croxley keeper with no chance firing across the goal into the side netting with a fantastic finish. Jon again found the back of the net from a George cross to round up a really solid team performance.  

Under 11's

Domination earns a point

St Albans City Under 11s West drew 1-1 at home to HMH. City completely dominated the first half but could not get the goal their hard work deserved. The whole team worked hard and the second half saw Laurence Blow put City in the lead. Everything was going well until the last few minutes when HMH were awarded a penalty for a tackle on the edge of the box. Matthew Rodford nearly got to the ball which went in of the post. A great performance which should really have been awarded with a win. Man of the match Captain James Pellington.

 

5th December 2004

Under 14's

Need to pick up the pace

The, under 14's West playing away to Acorn Raiders in the league, came away losing 3-2, mainly due to a lack-lustre performance.

In the first half West only managed to score once through Ben White, finishing with a low drive into the bottom corner, slightly deflected off a defender. Half time score 1-0 to West.

Second half Acorn Raiders equalised within 10 mins of the restart, with a patch of sloppy defending from West. Raiders then went 2-1 up with a dubious penalty decision. West then conceded again, due to poor defending.

West hit back with a well-taken goal from Arron Shaw, just as City seemed to need it most, slotting in a superb goal from a great ball in from Aaron Lumsdon.

James Watt received Man of the Match for his great contribution down the right wing.

City need to pick their game back up if they are to stay in the top part of the table.

 

Under 13's

North march on in the County Cup

The U/13’s North booked their place in the quarter finals of the County Cup after beating last years runners up and previous years winners Hoddesden 2 – 0.

St . Albans attacked Hoddesden from the first whistle and although they had most of the play, couldn’t turn their possession into goals. That changed in the twenty fifth minute when Luke Campion latched onto a through ball just inside the Hoddesden half. With a defender hot on his heels Luke had plenty to do as he sprinted towards the goal with the ball. As he reached the penalty area it looked as though the keeper might get the ball but instead Luke tucked the ball into the back of the net with his left boot for a superb finish. St. Albans stayed solid until half time with every one playing well.

In the second period, Hoddesden put St. Albans under pressure for the first ten minutes and were unlucky when they were denied by a post. It was beginning to look as though it was only a matter of time before Hoddesden would equalise when out of the blue in the fifty fifth minute, Luke Campion received the ball at least 25 yards from goal and hit a terrific dipping, powerful shot high into the back of the net that gave the opposing keeper no chance whatsoever to make it 2 – 0. The goal seemed to settle the St. Albans team although Hoddesden were always a threat and nearly scored in the last few minutes. The game finished 2 – 0 to St. Albans with the team thoroughly deserving their victory and looking forward to battle it out with local rivals London Colney on January 16th 2005 for a place in the semi’s.

 

Always next week

Playing Garston girls the Under 13's Girls following an outbreak of colds reduced the team to 9 before they started, two key experienced players.  This was not the ideal way to start two new signings, not just thrown in the deep end, a shark infested deep end.  The last thing you then need is to be told the pitch is double booked and that we have to move to a full sized pitch next door.  The exhausted girls could barely clear the ball into touch.  A bad start moved smoothly through the gears as it picked up speed on a downhill run.  Even the referee gave us nothing: penalising the keeper delaying the restart; penalising an inadvertant back pass (well at least we officially passed the ball once); failing to penalise a handball before one goal or the attempts to exchange shirts during our attacks.  Still there’s always next week. Final score 11-0 to Garston.

Under 12's

West show "Bouncebackability"

West returned to their winning ways with a hard fought victory.  The first ten minutes West were pinned back and looked a little ragged, although Matt Peckham always looked solid in goal.  However as the game evolved West started to link up with George Figg and Scott Howlett on the right of midfield. Carl Biggs was constantly causing the Everett defence problems and Tom Weaver was unlucky not to open the scoring with an excellent shot that hit the crossbar.   It was a superb through ball from George that finally opened up the Everett defence and Jon Mallaburn finished it in trade mark style.  An excellent corner on the stroke of half time was then tucked away by Tom.  The second half saw West dominate but it was spoiled by an over zealous linesman who denied West many a scoring opportunity.  Matt again made some excellent stops and it was disappointing to concede from a corner which should have been dealt with better. 

Down to the wellies

St Albans U12 East's suffered their first loss of the season at Edmonton Sharks going down by 4 goals to 2 on a very heavy pitch in the League Cup.

 Overall we didn't play our best and 2 goals to the opposition either side of half time meant that the lads had to chase the game against a physical opposition. Kieran Donovan's powerful header from a great Dean Kemp corner gave us some hope at 2-1, then Goro Nishioka had a goal disallowed when Lee Close had his shirt pulled. Edmonton's tall fast striker continually gave us problems down the left which gave them a 3-1 lead, but this was cut back to 3-2 when Aidan Fortune picked up Jacob Wroe's pin-point pass and fired it home. In the final minutes Edmonton made it 4-2.

On the day there wasn't much between the sides, and if our players had kept their heads in the face of some bizarre refereeing decisions (reffing in wellies does not inspire confidence) the result could have been different. Man of the Match; Charlie Hunter. Next week the team travel to Bengeo Tigers in the last 16 of the County Cup.

 U12 East: Coulton; Hunter, Wroe, Gray; Lowthian (McNamara), Donovan, Kemp, Maher (Northage), O'Shea; Nishioka,  Close (Fortune).    

 

Under 11's

Early Christmas present for the West

St Albans City Youth Under 11's West beat Enfield Rangers 6 - 0 away. The last two meetings for these teams have been close games, but this game was all City. Dressed in their new Playstation 2 magazine kits the boys played their best game this season. The first half saw lots of St Albans attacks all of which somehow missed. Enfield broke through only twice and Matthew Rodford pulled of two excellent saves to keep Enfield firmly out. Toby Sakata broke the deadlock on 15 minutes finishing well. Carl Palin hit the post David Towndrow and Dominic Oliver sent the ball just over the cross bar also Laurence Blow narrowly missed. The score remained 1- 0 at half time. In the second half a great through ball found Tom Pugh who ran into the box and beat the keeper. Harvey Scott then got a brilliant hat trick taking his chances well assisted  by Joe Crawshaw, Lewis Baxendine in midfield. The defence stood up well and Captain James Pellington, Ben Lee, Jake Deacon and Chris Hudson need to take credit for not letting Enfield score. Five minutes from the end Tom Pugh got his second and City's 6th. Man of the match went to Carl Palin for his determined work on the right wing.

28th November 2004

Under 13's

First minute slice of luck helps

The Under 13’s North had a slice of good luck in the first minute when the Comets keeper completely missed the ball on the edge of the penalty area that allowed Elliott Goward to score into an empty net to make it 1 - 0. On ten minutes Elliott Goward got his second when he beat two players after a good through ball from Luke Campion. A minute later, St. Albans were awarded a penalty that was converted by Luke Campion with his usual coolness to make it 3 – 0. In the twenty fifth minute Comets pulled a goal back when the ball took a bad bobble just in front of the unlucky Harry Honeywood and rolled agonisingly into the back of the net.

In the second half, Comets came out fighting knowing that another goal would put them right back in the game. They nearly scored on two separate occasions when a free kick hit the crossbar and a header went just wide of the far post. However, on fifty five minutes, Luke Thatcher restored City’s three goal advantage when he hit a powerful shot that was too hot for the keeper to handle to make it 4 – 1. St. Albans were firmly back in the driving seat and in the sixty fifth minute, Mark Hiller scored the fifth with a rasping shot into the far corner of the net from twenty yards. The goal of the game came just a minute later when Ben Talbot and Sam Wilson combined brilliantly from deep in their own half with a series of ‘one two’s’ down the left before setting up Luke Thatcher who hit a glorious left foot low drive into the back of the net from just outside the penalty area. Final score 6 – 1.

Next week the U/13’s North are looking for revenge against Hoddesden Utd. – ( last seasons County Cup runners up ) in the 4th Round of the competition at Greenwood Park 2.00pm kick off. Hoddesden knocked St. Albans out at the same stage two years ago and went on to become County Champions.

Spirit

Playing Hatfield at home were Under 13's Girls.

It is an indication of the spirit when Christina Berkeley, who broke her ankle in last weeks game (but still played on for an hour), came to cheer on the team  despite the cold, wet and miserable weather.  The 8 girls still able to play faced top of the table Hatfield.  Just what you need.  Despite conceding an early goal the girls gave a good performance and came in at half time exhausted but only 1-3 down.  Numbers, and the big pitch took its toll and the second half was not so good.  Too many mistakes against a good team.  Jane Jardine scored the two excellent goals but still did not win the Player of the Match which was shared by Emma Seeby and Nicolle Daisley who showed this week, as well as recent weeks, the ability to improve their performance despite the circumstances. 

 

Under 12's

Seven on the trot

The u12 girls recorded their seventh win in a row, beating Hatfield Youth
8 - 0 in the County Cup.
Despite looking a little lacklustre the girls took the lead after five minutes. A good long throw by Michaella Fleming found Josie Green who turned sharply and rifled the ball into the back of the net. Two minutes later the score was 2-0 with Megan Wynne scoring. Two minutes after this  Grace Lewis added a third. Hatfield did not give however and still attempted to press forwards although St Albans continued to have most of the ball. After twenty minutes a good passing move saw Winnie Wallace scoring the fourth with a shot from the side of the box. Michaela Fleming made it 5-0 with a powerful shot from the edge of the box on the stroke of half time. Two minutes into the second half Hannah Ford scored her first to make the score 6-0. Hatfield then rallied and had a good 10 minutes spell pressing forwards, before Hannah Ford scored her second. Five minutes later Megan Wynne scored her second from closed range to make the score 8-0. Despite further chances there were no more goals, and the girls ended up  deserved winners, to advance to the semi final. Player of the match was Megan Shaw with an assured performance in the middle of defence.

Next week will see a much sterner test against Watford Ladies in the league cup, where the girls will need to be at their best to continue their unbeaten run.

Excellent

After last week's enforced lay-off the U12 East lads travelled the short distance to North Watford to play Everett Rovers Blue and came away with an excellent 2-0 win to go top of the Red Division.

 With no love lost between City and the ex-County Champions after their first encounter this season, this was always going to be a difficult and bruising encounter especially with three players unavailable and our regular keeper side-lined through injury. From the kick off the lads competed for every ball and the first chance came the East's way when Lee Close combined well with Goro Nishioka, only for Goro's shot to narrowly miss the post. At the other end of the pitch the defence of Charlie Hunter, Jacob Wroe and Eddie Gray was outstanding, and with Dean Kemp protecting the 'unholy trinity' they limited Everett to a few long-range pot shots at keeper Aidan Fortune which he fielded competently. In the second half the boys turned up the tempo and with 2 minutes of the restart Goro broke free to lob the home keeper and break the deadlock. When Everett did hit the target Aidan nimbly dived to his right and turned the close range shot round the post. With many tough challenges taking place around the pitch several free-kicks were awarded and one of these was spilled and was bundled into Everett's goal only for Goro to be judged to have fouled the keeper.

 In the dying minutes City got the second after Goro chased a Louis McNamara through ball, and he was brought down in the area. Silence... then Lee stepped up to the spot and calmy slotted the ball home. Moments later the final whistle blew to prove that 3-1 win from the first meeting was no fluke!

 U12 East: Fortune; Hunter, Wroe, Gray; McNamara, Donovan, Kemp, Bullock (Northage), Lowthian (Wilson); Nishioka, Close.

 

Need to take their chances

The Under 12's West battled hard up the slope in the first half and created a couple of good chances which could have turned the game had they taken them.  George Figg in the midfield was everywhere and Charlie Craigen and Richard Cook looked solid at the back and put in some well timed challenges.  West conceded after 10 minutes to a well taken shot from outside the box and were really unlucky to go two down on the stroke of half time as they had given the visitors very few opportunities.  The second half started badly as West pushed forward to get back in the game. The Bedmond attack took full advantage with through balls and scored 3 times in just 4 minutes.  West did not give up and for the last 20 minutes had there best spell and were unlucky not to score again on a several occasions especially from a lobbed shot from Scott Howlett, that the keeper only just managed to tip over the bar. West were finally rewarded when Scott made a fine run down the right beating off 3 sliding tackles to pass through to Charlie Craigen who crossed to Carl Biggs to finish.  Bedmond are three divisions higher and for 45 minutes of the game you could not tell, however West must take their chances and had they today it would have been a lot closer.  

Under 11's

Mud take's its toll

St Albans U11 west went down 2 - 0 on a very muddy pitch in Parkfield. The first half got of to a bad start with Parkfield scoring in the first minute. For the rest of the half City pressured Parkfield and went close on many occasions but the mud meant that the ball hardly moved let alone crossed the line. Toby Sakata somehow managed to dribble through the Parkfield defence and was brought down in the box, Carl Palin scooped up the muddy ball and slid it into the net but the referee had awarded a penalty. Harvey Scott couldn't get enough on the ball to score from the muddy spot. The second half started the same as the first Parkfield scored in the first minute 2 - 0 once again City pushed forward but the conditions meant that little was to be gained. Man of the match went to Jake Deacon who was once again outstanding at left back. 

 

21st November 2004

Under 13's

Well done lads

 

After being put under pressure by Alexandra Park straight from the kick off, the U/13’s North had to rely on keeper Harry Honeywood to make three brilliant saves to keep his side in the game. St. Albans weathered the early storm and started playing the football they are capable of. Luke Campion had an impressive game in midfield working tirelessly just behind the attack. Ten minutes before half time and after being on the pitch for only a couple of minutes, Charles Norman gave St. Albans the lead when he converted a Sam Wilson corner into the net from close range.

In the second period, St. Albans started very strong and killed the game off within ten minutes of the restart with two top quality goals. Charles Norman went on a rampaging run down the left wing and bustled his way through four defenders before passing the ball to Sam Wilson on the edge of the penalty area. Sam unselfishly laid the ball back for Mark Hiller who struck a perfectly placed shot into the bottom corner to the keepers left to make it 2 – 0. Five minutes later Mark Hiller returned the favour and set up Sam Wilson who hit an equally good shot into the opposite corner of the net from twenty yards to make it 3 – 0. Harry Fountain nearly made it 4 – 0 but was unlucky with his shot that went just wide of the near post. This was one of the best team performances so far this season and although everyone played extremely well, a special mention goes to Harry Honeywood for his first half saves. Also to James Laws, Charles Norman, James Killen and Luke Campion for their performances and Harry Fountain who is improving every week after his injury back in February.

Final score 3 – 0, well done lads.

Turning the corner

With the luxury of 9 players to start the game the Under 13's Girls gave the  Garston team a battle for the full 70 minutes even though everyone was exhausted by the end.  Sadly two goalkeeping mistakes eventually made the difference between the teams and the non-award of a penalty early in the game might have given the girls the boost to snatch a win.  Everyone earned praise for their contribution but goalscorer Jane Jardine earned the Player of the Match award for the way she single handedly tormented the home defence every time the others got the ball near her.  With the brand new kit, a player returning to fitness and possible new recruits it might be the week that the squad turned the corner. Final score 3-1 to Garston.

Under 12's

Girls hit Hemel for six

Against a very competitive Hemel side, the girls produced one of their best performances of the season so far to win 6-1. The first few minutes saw some end to end action before Megan Wynne hit the post after a fine run on 5 minutes. The game continued to be very even, until a great flick on by Hayley Ladd released Megan Wynne to score after 10 minutes. 2 minutes later Megan played a through ball for Winnie Wallace who ran almost half the length of the pitch to push the ball past the Hemel keeper to make the score 2-0. Despite further chances for St Albans and a few scares at the other end the score remained 2-0 at half time.

The girls started brightly in the second half with Hannah Ford scoring on 33 minutes. Shortly afterwards Megan Wynne scored to make the score 4-0.  Hemel to their credit continued to push forwards and scored a goal with a thunderous shot with about 10 minutes to go to make the score 4-1. The goal gave Hemel renewed hope and they pressed forwards, however a excellent through ball found Hayley Ladd in space on the half way line. She broke swiftly outpacing the defence and forced the goalkeeper into an excellent save. Grace Lewis was following up and pushed the ball past the keeper to make the score 5-1. 2 minutes from time Megan Wynne completed her hat-trick with an excellent solo run through a by now demoralised Hemel defence, to make the final score 6-1.

This was an excellent team performance, against a strong Hemel side who had previously beaten the girls in all three of their previous meetings. Player of the match went to Josie Green, who had an excellent performance in the middle of midfield.

Winning streak comes to an end

West's winning streak comes to an end against Hadley Rangers  on a very muddy and heavy pitch.  The first half started well with Carl Biggs worrying the Hadley defence and he was unlucky not to open the scoring on a number of occasions.  It was Elliott Jay with his first goal for the club, who fired home a poor clearance to give the West the lead just before half time.  Joe Murtagh, Stuart Cole, Charlie Craigen and Richard Cook worked really hard in defence and subdued any threats from Hadley in the first half.  The second half with Hadley down the slope however, was a different proposition. Hadley scored twice in quick succession after 7 minutes, when their attackers broke through virtually unchallenged to leave West stunned.  Matt Peckham and George Figg battled in midfield to get West back in the game and it  looked like they would score at any moment but they squandered a few chances and while pushing for the equaliser were unfortunately caught on the break. The fourth goal came from a free kick that was defended poorly.  A disappointing result after such a good run and first half performance but Hadley probably deserved the win but not the margin.   

14th November 2004

Under 18's

Decisions cost the West

A West team depleted by injuries and County calls was very unfortunate not to win thorough in this topsy-turvy cup-tie.  Though Southgate dominated the first 30 minutes, the West defence stood firm and Kosky was only called upon to make one serious save – tipping a fierce shot over the bar.  West hit back on the counter-attack with Godden winning a corner when he was hauled over in the box.  From the corner Smith challenged and Clark slammed in a rising shot only for Southgate to clear from under the bar.  From the next corner Tillbrook headed powerful down only for the ball to again be cleared from the line, but this time James was on hand to ram home the rebound.

West were comfortable in the second period when a cross from the Southgate right took a wicked swerve and curled into the top corner of the net beyond Kosky’s grasp.  Lifted by their good fortune Southgate now poured forward, but West caught them on the break and in a goalmouth scramble the Southgate keeper picked up a back pass.  From the free-kick, Hawes’ shot stabbed home by Lattuca. 

West now soaked up Southgate pressure, with Hawes, Tillbrook, Anderson, and especially Smith playing tremendously at the back.  The equalizer came in controversial circumstances, the referee ruling the ball had crossed the line after striking the crossbar – a fact vehemently denied by all the West players.

In extra-time West began to tire, but Southgate seemed unable to carve out clear chances.  The goal when it came was again controversial, the referee this time over-ruling the linesman’s offside flag. West then had a great shout for a penalty turned down when Godden was pulled down in the box by the Southgate keeper. In the final minutes a vicious tackle on Tegana James left him badly limping with a serious ankle injury, and Southgate grabbed and undeserved fourth goal as West pushed on..  

It was a great pity that the failure of the appointed referee to turn up meant that this important game had to be refereed by a member of the Southgate club.  At this level of football it simply should not happen, and on this occasion it certainly had an impact upon the game.  West deserve credit for having stuck so doggedly to the task on a day when too few players were firing on all cylinders.  Steve Hawes and Matt Tillbrook both played exceptionally well, but Liam Smith deserves the plaudits as man of the match in what was by far his best game yet in City colours.

Team:  Kosky; Tillbrook, Hawes, Smith, Anderson; Lattuca (Bristow, 81), Bailey, Clark, Jaravaza; Godden, James.   

Under 13's

Holders into the next round

The Under 13’s North started their defence of the Challenge Cup with a 3 – 0 victory over London Road JFC. A straight forward win was anticipated but London Road had other ideas. St. Albans had most of the possession during the first period but were unable to get through the London Road defence and when they did, couldn’t beat the keeper who had a solid game throughout . However, five minutes before the break, St. Albans won a corner on the left that was taken by Sam Wilson and after a scramble, captain Charles Norman put the ball into the net from close range to make it 1 – 0. London Road should have equalised just before the break but luckily for City they squandered two good opportunities.

In the second half, St. Albans started off brightly enough but couldn’t find the killer second goal that would have given them the cushion that they needed. As the game went on, the play started to turn scrappy with both teams giving away the ball too often. With twenty minutes remaining, St. Albans picked up the pace and began to look more threatening. They were rewarded in the fiftieth minute when a good move was finished off by Luke Thatcher from five yards after the keeper failed to hold onto a cross from Elliott Goward. Five minutes later, Elliott Goward wrapped up the tie with a good low shot from just outside the penalty area for a final score of 3 – 0 and a safe passage into the second round.

Great performance from the eight

By the time the game had started the Under 13's Girls were down to only 8 players again, and only just.  Adversity seems to bring out the best in the girls and they played really well making this a hard fought game throughout.  In fact the scoreline flatters the home team Stevenage, as Jane Jardine should have scored a hat trick rather than a single goal.  Great goalkeeping and bad luck among other factors did not help the visitors.  Some of the second half goals they conceded were the result of tiredness and a failure to simply clear the ball when given the chance.  Anna Mason deserved the Player of the Match award as she turned out although injured to help her team and did a great job as an emergency replacement goalkeeper.  Her attitude and efforts typified the girls as a whole.

The score line became unimportant with only 8 girls to start the game.  The eight put on a tremendous performance and made this a competitive match, to their credit.  They never gave up and battled exhausted to the end of the game.  They only conceded two goals in the second half although they did not create as many attacks up the slope.  Although they all deserved praise Jane Jardine put on a great display that earned her the Player of the Match thanks to her goal at the end of the first half. Final score 7-1 to Stevenage.

Under 12's

Fourth round for the 'new Galacticos'

Fielding a team showing 6 different faces plus 2 positional changes from the previous week's starting line-up against Harvesters, St Albans U12 East were fortunate to come away with a 2-1 win against London Colney Colts in Round 3 of the County Cup. After Colney had struck the post in the opening exchanges Aidan Fortune rose majestically to head home Eddie Gray's cross into the top corner on 5 minutes. Aidan then doubled the lead 15 minutes later when he spun neatly to turn in Goro's low cross into the box. In the second half Colney pressed and halved the score, and on the balance of play were unlucky not to equalise but for the excellent keeping of Tom Coulton, leadership of Eddie and Charlie Hunter, and pace of Brodie Hollis. At the other end of the pitch a powerful Goro header hit the bar and the appearance of St Albans' four disgruntled 'Galacticos' in the last 10 minutes assured a somewhat muted victory.

2004-5 Playing Record: P15 W14 D1 L0 F68 A13

U12 East: Coulton; Northage, Hollis, Gray; Wilson (McNamara), Hunter, Maher (Donovan), Bullock (Wroe), O'Shea; Nishioka, Fortune (Close).

Four in a row

The Under 12's West's fourth straight win of the season!  The game started brightly with some good moves from man of the match George Figg in midfield who worked hard throughout the whole game and regularly set Scott Howlett and Matt Peckham away on the right, who both made some excellent penetrating runs.  However it was Stuart Cole who again had a great game at left back who put a lovely ball through to Carl Biggs who finished in fine style with his left foot to put West one up. Raiders then had their best spell and caught the West boys twice with some uncharacteristic poor defending and they found themselves 2-1 down at half time.  However with the slope in the second half West dominated, and when George whipped in a low corner Scott finished well to equalize.  Jamie Heaffey then pushed through a fine through ball to Scott who fired home leaving the keeper no chance.  The game was then wrapped up by Charlie Craigen with a great finish from another excellent Georg corner.  West created plenty of chances and should not really have conceded two but it was a spirited performance and they deserved their win. 

Under 11's

What a difference a month makes?

St Albans City Under 11s West beat Pinnacle 4 - 3 at home in the league. They said we couldn't turn round a 9 0 defeat in less than a month, but City played with a great belief that they could win and win they did. The first goal saw Chris Hudson finish with a lovely looping volley from outside of the box. Pinnacle struck back well levelling the scores only for Chris Hudson to smash home from just in side their box. An end to end first half finished 2 - 1. Last time Pinnacle scored 8 goals in the second half so City knew they had to remain strong. Sure enough Pinnacle hit a goal back and flashed a couple past each post. After some excellent play David Towndrow fired onto the cross bar and this looked like it may have been an unlucky turning point. Toby Sakata, who had worked tirelessly, once again showed the way forward and netted the all important third goal one minute later after a thunderbolt form Carl Palin, Toby tapped in his second and our fourth. Pinnacle were not beaten yet and attacked even into the last minute of extra time when they scored their third. The whistle went at the restart and the young Saints celebrated a well deserved win. Captain James Pellington, Lewis Baxendine, Jake Deacon and Ben Lee worked well in defence  and another solid performance from Matthew Rodford kept City always in the game. Midfield play by Joe Crawshaw, Jack Evans and Harvey Scott kept the ball winning going.Tom Pugh and Alistair Sandiford worked hard in attack.  Man of the match though went to Chris Hudson who did not stop battling.

7th November 2004

Under 18's

West drop two points

The Under 18's West contrived to drop two points against much improved Whetstone.  The opening exchanges were dominated by West, with Patterson and James both missing chances.  Clark and Godden then came close, and Smith headed narrowly wide.  The goal came on 15 minutes, when Lock and Gray exchanged passes to set Jaravaza free.  He cut in and curled a glorious right foot shot past the ‘keeper.

At 1-0, West relaxed let Whetstone back into the game.  Two great chances went begging, as first Jaravaza and then James missed with only the keeper to beat.  This proved costly when Whetstone clawed their way back into the game. The first goal was a gift, after a poor goal kick. The second came when ex-West midfielder Sam Hatton swung over the cross to find two Whetstone players completely unmarked in the six-yard box.  Kosky had no chance from close-range.

In the second half West reorganized, with Ferdinand, returning from injury, coming on for Patterson.  Within five minutes Ferdy made his mark, crashing home a Clark pass.  West dominated the game again, but were caught out once more when the Whetstone centre-forward latched onto a long clearance and was brought down by Hawes.  Hatton stepped up to take the penalty.  Kosky read his former team-mate’s intentions, and saved diving to his right, but as the ball squirmed from his hands Hatton was quicker than the slow witted West defence and managed to poke the rebound home.

 Within a few minutes Ferdinand restored West’s advantage.  From a Godden corner Whetstone cleared the ball to Hawes, who flighted an excellent ball over the advancing defence to James, lurking wide on the left.  His square ball gave Ferdinand an easy opportunity from 10 yards.  Four minutes later Hawes did the same trick again, this time James rounding the ‘keeper and rolling the ball into the empty net.  In the final 15 minutes West squandered another three good chances.  Almost inevitiably, Whetstone equalised with a fine headed goal from a corner. 

A draw was a fair result on the day, but West must rue their inability to finish off inferior opposition.  New boys Smith and Tillbrook again showed their value to the team, and Tom Lock had his best game of the season in midfield.

Team:  Kosky; Tillbrook, Hawes, Smith; Patterson (Ferdinand, 45), Lock, Clark, Gray; Godden; Jaravaza (Lattuca, 68), James.     Sub not used: Bristow

 

Under 13's

North march on in County Cup

In the third round of the County cup, the under 13’s North played away against a strong Harpenden Colts side that combined their Mid Herts and WFL teams together to form a team specifically for this competition.

Straight from the kick off it was obvious that this was going to be a difficult game as Harpenden came out of the blocks very quickly and had the upper hand for the first ten minutes. James Laws at right back did extremely well to keep the Harpenden left winger at bay who was extremely quick and could have caused problems. Slowly but surely, St. Albans alleviated the pressure and started to take the game to Harpenden. There was nothing to choose between these two sides until half way through the first period when Luke Thatcher thought he’d put his side into the lead only to see the linesman flagging for offside and the goal was disallowed. Half time was looming when Mark Hiller was brought down inside the area and the referee gave a penalty. Luke Campion calmly slotted the ball home with a very well taken kick to put St. Albans into the lead at half time.

In the second period St. Albans started very positively and went 2 – 0 ahead inside five minutes when Elliott Gowards’ stinging shot was parried by the Harpenden keeper and Luke Thatcher fired in the rebound. St. Albans were now in control of the game and playing some good flowing football although Harpenden were very much still in this game. Sam Wilson on the right wing and Charles Norman back in defence after missing recent games both played very well for St. Albans. Nathan Byrne had his best game of the season in midfield and nearly scored but couldn’t have been wearing his Alan Shearer boots. With fifteen minutes remaining, new signing Josh Towle made it 3 – 0 on his debut having only being on the pitch for less than ten minutes when he calmly slotted the ball into the far corner of the net. The final score of 3 – 0 to St. Albans was well deserved in this hard fought local derby and every single player made a big contribution to the teams performance. Harry Honeywood, James Laws, Andrew Harris, Ben Talbot, Tommy Hunt, Jack Ashcroft, Charles Norman, Harry Fountain, Sam Wilson, Nathan Byrne, Luke Campion, Mark Hiller, Toby Irish, Elliott Goward, Luke Thatcher, Josh Towle.

The under 13’s North next opponents in the fourth round will be last years losing finalists and the previous years winners - Hoddesden United.

Under 12's

West take all the points

In very wet and heavy conditions West probably had the edge up the slope in the first half, but the Hawks defence were very quick to close down the many threatening attacks. West's defence of Joe Murtagh, Charlie Craigen, Myles Smith, Matt Peckham in goal and joint Man of the Match Stuart Cole also looked really solid and dealt with the few counter attacks very competently. West should have been one up on the stroke of half time when a lovely cross from Jon Mallaburn was fired over the bar.  The second half saw West totally in control but it wasn't until the other man of the match Tom Weaver who had dominated the midfield sent Scott Howlett away with a lovely through ball,  that West were rewarded.  Scott one on one with the keeper slotted the ball neatly away in the side netting leaving the keeper no chance.  West were again unlucky not to score in a goal mouth scramble soon afterwards.  New boy George Figg who had a solid start in midfield looked like scoring with a curling corner in the closing minutes but it hit the back post and ricocheted out to Ryan Rickard who had worked really hard all the game and was so close to finishing it off but the ball fell unkindly in the difficult conditions. Another determined performance and a well deserved win for the West.

Local derby success

For the past five weeks we've been telling the lads of the Under 12's East that the fixtures will be getting tougher and this week saw the visit of Red Division leaders Harvesters North to fortress Francis Bacon, only to send them packing with a 3-2 defeat!

Playing up the slope St Albans soaked up some early pressure before Lee Close chased a ball on the right and his angled shot flashed past the keeper into the corner of the net with four minutes on the clock. From this point Harvesters upped the tempo, but were restricted to shots from distance which keeper Tom Coulton ably dealt with. After 20 minutes the scores were level when Harvesters won a corner and a looping header ended up in the back of the net despite Eddie Gray's brave attempt to head it off the line. Just before half time the midfield was caught out of position and a Harvesters' counter attack resulted in them taking a 2-1 lead.

This only spurred on the lads in a brilliant second half performance, and with Jacob Wroe leading the three man defence of Charlie Hunter and Eddie, St Albans took the game to the visitors. Goro Nishioka constantly worried the visitor's defence and Lee was unlucky not to equalise, but this time his shot went the wrong side of the post. In two crazy minutes the match was turned on its head when St Albans won a free kick 30 yards out, after good wingplay from Louis McNamara. Dean Kemp stepped up to ball and the with the instructions 'put it in under the crossbar' in his head, his shot leapt off his boot and flew into the top right hand corner, 2-2. Before the supporters had time to take in the equaliser St Albans won another corner, this time on the left. Dean's deep delivery was met by Goro's head and the ball dropped on the 6 yard line with Kieran Donovan on hand to blast it high into the net. Ecstasy.....The last ten minutes were a blurr, Max O'Shea and Ryan Maher who had replaced James Lowthian put in some bone-jarring tackles, and St Albans were unlucky not to add to the scoreline.

Overall a fantastic display which St Albans fully deserved since they wanted the win more than their opposition. Anyone of the East players could have won the man of the match award, but it goes to the uncompromising Jacob Wroe for a committed display at centre-half which helped keep Harvesters' prolific strikers at bay.

U12 East: Coulton; Hunter, Wroe, Gray (capt.);McNamara, Donovan, Kemp, O'Shea, Lowthian (Maher); Nishioka, Close: Fortune, Hollis.

Under 11's

Great team effort

St Albans City Youth U11 West beat Enfield Rangers 3 - 2. Harvey Scott got the young Saints of to a great start putting them ahead after 2 minutes some strong work in midfield by Chris Hudson and Dominic Oliver helped keep possession. Enfield replied after only 8 minutes bring back memories of our last match against them that had finished 7 - 6 (to Enfield). But City kept calm and kept control and Tom Pugh made it two with a neat finish. 2 - 1 half time. Enfield started brightly and after 10 minutes drew level Carl Palin was left no chance in goal. The defence of Captain James Pellington , Ben Attewell, Ben Lee, Lewis Baxendine and Jake Deacon all worked hard with some impressive work by Ben Lee using his pace and strength. David Towndrow got the winner with 15 minutes left to go. Will Jacobs battled hard up front, Joe Crawshaw and Alistair Sandiford played well on the right of midfield and Toby Sakata looked dangerous with every attack he made.   A great team effort.. Man of the match.. the team!

 

31st October  2004

Under 13's

Gave their best

Playing at home to Barking but with only 8 players, after two late withdrawals and a no show. the Under 13's Girls took on the might of Barking  Not ideal when you are facing the potential champions.  Fortunately they only had 11 but they played very well passing the ball about and taking advantage of the big Greenwood pitch and a three player advantage.  The girls were soon exhausted but never stopped trying but the goals steadily leaked.  0-3 at half time should be seen as a great effort but tiredness had its effect as the second half wore on.  All the girls gave their best, battling until the end and it was hard to pick one individual from the eight but Anna Mason played very well to meet the demands of the situation. Final score 0-9 to Barking.

Under 12's

U12 girls win with excellent display of passing football

The U12 girls beat Northwood 8-2 with an excellent display of passing football. After exerting early pressure Grace Lewis followed up a Megan Wynne shot to make the score 1-0.
St Albans continued to have most of the game although Northwood were stubborn opposition, with the goalkeeper playing particularly well. Grace Lewis had a second goal disallowed for offside, after fifteen minutes. On 22 minutes Hannah Ford made the score 2-0 after an excellent through ball from Megan Wynne. Northwood continued to make a game of it and went straight up the other end to make the 2-1. 2 minutes later Megan Wynne restored the 2 goal advantage to make the score 3-1.
With half time fast approached the girls then scored the best goal of the game with Abi Mann, Grace Lewis and Megan Wynne combining in a superb passing move, for Megan to make the score 4-1. The second half began with Northwood scoring again to make the score 4-2, which led to a few tense moments.  Ten minutes into the second half Michaella Fleming scored from a corner to restore the 3 goal margin. Five minutes later Hannah Ford scored to make the score 6-2. Winnie Wallace then capped off a good game for her with a shot from the edge of the area. Megan Wynne then completed her hat- rick to make the final score 8-2. Grace Lewis received the player of the match award with an excellent display first on the left side of midfield and later on up front. All in all this was really good performance. The girls are passing the ball more and more and are really starting to see the benefits of this.

Back to winning ways

After last week's draw St Albans City Youth U12 East got back to winning ways in the league with a hard fought single goal victory against Harpenden Colts Falcons at Rothamsted Park. The teams went into the interval goalless but in the second half Saints began to make inroads into the Harpenden defence despite losing the influential Charlie Hunter with a badly cut knee. After good work by Lee Close, Goro Nishioka finally got the breakthrough by beating three defenders and shooting high past the keeper from a narrow angle. Jacob Wroe was unlucky not to add to the score with a snap shot straight at the keeper and a volley which was bound for the top corner being plucked out of the air. Top marks to Eddie Gray and Ryan Maher in defence and Dean Kemp who battled in midfield with various partners throughout the match.

U12 East: Coulton; Northage, Maher, Gray; McNamara, Kemp, Hunter (Wilson), Bullock (Wroe), Lowthian (Donovan); Nishioka, Close.

24th October 2004

Under 13's

Points shared

The U/13’s North and London Colney battled out a typical local derby that finished with both teams sharing the points. St. Albans started well but their defence reacted slowly to Colneys first real attack of the game and they conceded a soft goal in the seventh minute. St. Albans continued to play well and thought they had equalised when a shot from Elliott Goward was heading for the top corner of the net when a Colney defender deliberately saved with his hands. The referee gave the penalty but strangely didn’t even speak to the Colney player when a red card should have been shown. Luke Campion took the kick and the Colney keeper made a very good save. Fortunately, the ref saw that a Colney player had encroached the area and ordered the kick to be retaken. This time Luke Campion slotted the ball away for a deserved equaliser. Five minutes later, Luke Thatcher put St. Albans 2 – 1 ahead with a superb shot on the run, from twenty five yards.

In the second period, Colney stepped up a gear looking for the equaliser and after ten minutes they got it when a cross from the right wing was headed past Harry Honeywood into the bottom corner of the net. Both teams worked hard but as the game went on, it became very scrappy without many opportunities being created by neither side. The final score of 2 – 2 was a fair result for both teams.

Great performance from the eight

The score line became unimportant with only 8 girls to start the game for the Under 13's Girls.  The eight put on a tremendous performance against Baldock and made this a competitive match, to their credit.  They never gave up and battled exhausted to the end of the game.  They only conceded two goals in the second half although they did not create as many attacks up the slope.  Although they all deserved praise Jane Jardine put on a great display that earned her the Player of the Match thanks to her goal at the end of the first half.

Under 12's

Draw, but good run continues

After 11 straight wins in Cup and League Cup matches St Albans City Youth were held to a 2-2 draw in their first Red Division league match away at  Whetstone Panthers.

It was another dream start in this away fixture when a cross from the right was knocked into the air by the Whetstone keeper and in a crowded area Lee Close's acrobatic overhead kick hit the back of the net, with only 30 seconds gone on the clock. The Panthers fought back strongly and when a through ball wasn't cleared they stole in for the equaliser. The remainder of the half was all Saints but the teams went in to the break level despite Lee Close narrowly shooting over and hitting the post. The second half was similar to the first with the lads taking the lead this time within 20 seconds, Goro Nishioka running clear and shooting low past the keeper. Unfortunately the Panthers struck back midway through the half to level the scores. As the match went on the Saints' passing got more fluent, the boys got stronger and finally started to dominate their larger opposition. Near the end Saints were unlucky not to get the winner when Kieran Donovan hit the post after a goalmouth scramble, and the just as Jacob Wroe's shot was heading from the corner the 'up til then unimpressive' Whetstone keeper made a good diving save. In midfield Charlie Hunter impressed once again and Tom Coulton in goal gave confidence to the at times under pressure three man defence.

Although happy with their first league point it was probably two points lost rather than a point gained.

U12 East: Coulton; Northage, Maher (Hollis), Gray; McNamara, Wroe, Hunter, Donovan, Lowthian (Wilson); Nishioka, Close.

Best performance so far

The U12 girls beat Harpenden 3-1 to leapfrog them and go second in the league. All in all this was their best performance of the season so far.
The team were down to eleven girls at the start of game,  this meant that a couple of times in the game due to injuries the girls were down to 10 players.
The first five minutes were played almost entirely in Harpenden's half with the girls pressing forward confidently. Harpenden then started to show why they had had such a good start to the season with a couple of quick breaks. In the sixth minute Sam May, playing in goal, made an excellent long clearance. Megan Wynne latched onto the ball held off the final defender and scored in the corner.  Harpenden came back into the game with a breakaway goal after 10 minutes to make the score 1-1. 3 minutes later Megan Wynne scored again with another well-taken goal.

St Albans continued to press for another goal, playing some excellent football, although Harpenden still looked dangerous on the break.
On 28 minutes following a corner the ball came out to Josie Green, who controlled the ball on the edge of the area, and fired a shot in that came back off the underside of the bar. The girls went in at half time 2-1 up.
The second half started with Harpenden pressing, making the most of the advantage of the wind. The St Albans girls held strong though and soon began taking the game to Harpenden. After 40 minutes a through ball from Megan Wynne found Grace Lewis who the played the ball to Winnie Wallace who finished off an excellent move.
After 48 minutes St Albans had a free kick 25 yards out. The shot from Megan Wynne was well struck, but also well saved by the keeper.
Michaella Fleming then made a solo run and long range shot that shaved the crossbar.
Harpenden pressed forward looking for a way back into the game, but the defence made up of Abi Mann, Lucy Mann, Erin Fogarty and Megan Shaw held firm, aided by a superb save by goalkeeper Sam May.
This was another excellent all round team display against a team that had only lost once this season. All of the girls should be proud of their performances. Pick of the bunch was Megan Wynne who was awarded player of the match. A special mention should also be made to Alea Brooke who answered a last minute call to play and had one of her best games for the team.

St Albans City West 2 Chorleywood Blue 1 

 

The play went from end to end in the first half but the West defence lead by Charlie Craigen held firm.  Stuart Cole worked really hard at left back and thwarted several attacks and Jamie Heaffey made a few great saves in goal.  Just before half time the ball fell to Ryan Rickard on the edge of the Chorleywood box, whose deft flick found Jon Mallaburn who turned beautifully and left the keeper no chance with a fine finish.  Chorleywood came out battling in the second half and Joe Murtagh was twice forced to clear from the line but eventually one of the numerous corners which were fired in with pin point accuracy was bundled in at the back post.  It looked like West were really under the cosh but they showed real spirit and kept fighting for every ball and gave the opposition no time or space to get in a shot.  Eight minutes from time Tom Weaver made a superb run up the whole length of the pitch leaving several Chorleywood players stranded in his wake,  he then slotted an excellent pass through to Jon who fired into the top left corner. An extremely tight match but West deserved the result as they fought so hard.  

 

Under 11's

Good workout

St Albans City West beat Harpenden Colts Dynamos 4 - 2 in a friendly match. The young Saints got of to a good start and looked lively Laurence Blow scored Citys first coming in fast on the left. The second came from Toby Sakata who took his goal well. Harpenden had few attacks in the first half and all were dealt with by the defence of Captain Chris Hudson Lewis Baxendine Jake Deacon Ben Attewell and Alistair Sandiford. Harvey Scott made it three just before half time skilfully slipping the ball past the keeper. Harpenden came out a lot stronger in the second half and put City under pressure and after 11 minutes pulled a goal back. Matthew Rodford played well in goal against his old club and was unlucky not to have kept the ball out. After that City then started to push forward again with some great runs down the left wing by David Towndrow. Through the middle by Harvey, Ben Lee, Dominic Oliver and Laurence Blow and on the right by Jack Evans and Joe Crawshaw.Harvey Scott got a well deserved second and was only denied his Hat trick by a late offside flag. Harpenden pulled another goal back in the dying minutes but the game was over. The whole team played well with some good passing especially in the first half. Man of the match went to David Towndrow for his hard work on the left and Lewis Baxendine for an outstanding display in defence.

 

 

W/E 17th October 2004

Under 13's

On a roll

The Under 13’s North extended their unbeaten run to five games with a hard earned 1 - 0 win over local rivals Borehamwood 2000.

Previous games against B/wood have all been very close and this was no exception. Both sides worked very hard and cancelled each other out in the midfield. Goal scoring chances were few and far between. Harry Honeywood stopped St. Albans from going a goal down when he made a point blank save on the edge of the six yard box when an unmarked B/wood striker struck a powerful shot that looked to be a certain goal. Jack Ashcroft the covering defender also did well to clear the ball off the line. St. Albans were having their best spell in the game and ten minutes before half time, Toby Irish, who is having a good season and growing in confidence with every game, was extremely unlucky when he hit a looping twenty yard shot that dipped and hit the underside of the crossbar and appeared to cross the line. Unfortunately, the referee was too far away to give the goal and the B/wood linesman must have had something in his eye and failed to see it.

Half time probably came too soon because at the start of the second period, B/wood put St. Albans under pressure straight away. St. Albans were defending well but just couldn’t find each other with their passes and an equaliser looked to be on the cards. However, with fifteen minutes left St. Albans set up a rare counter attacking move where the ball was put through to Nathan Byrne twenty five yards out, he controlled the ball and drove towards the keeper and hit a left footed shot into the back of the net. Unfortunately, the B/wood linesman saw a St. Albans player in an offside position somewhere (possibly on another pitch) and the goal was disallowed. This seemed to fire up the City team and they were now right back in the game and looking for the winner they felt they had already been robbed of earlier. With six minutes left on the clock, the goal finally came when Luke Thatcher received the ball thirty yards out in the centre of the pitch. He ran straight at the heart of the B/wood defence, flicked the ball to the right and unleashed an unstoppable shot that gave the B/wood keeper absolutely no chance whatsoever and St. Albans the three points. This was a gutsy team performance from the whole side in a very tough game which they thoroughly deserved to win.

Much improved

Playing Garston the Under 13's Girls put on a very good team performance, much improved, with the midfield operating quite well.  Having only 11 players told in the end against a squad that seemed enormous, in height and numbers.  Emma Seeby made Tuesday’s training session seem worthwhile with an excellent performance in goal.  All of the defenders did their jobs with Rebecca Atkins, as usual , picking up the pieces.  Although all the midfield worked very hard the Player of the Match trophy went to Christina Berkeley who never gave up.  Next Tuesday it will be the forwards who will have to improve their game.

Under 12's

Well done West

West dominated the first half with some excellent work from Tom Weaver and Charlie Craigen in the centre of midfield.  However, West did not take any of the numerous chances they created and were stunned when a breakaway attack after 15 minutes was poorly cleared and the Hawks found themselves one up against the run of play. West quickly replied when Jon Mallaburn fired in low corner for man of the match Scott Howlett to flick in at the near post. Scott returned the favour a few minutes later with an excellent cross which was finished by Jon.  Unfortunatley Hawks were again allowed back in the game on the stroke of half time when they broke out from their half after another West attack was thwarted.  All through the second half West continued to battle up the slope and eventually were rewarded when Scott dashed down the right with a great run, which he  finished superbly from the edge of the box with a tremendous shot over the stranded keeper who was racing off his line. Matt Peckham fresh from out of goal worked hard in the middle of the field and pushed a lovely through ball to Jon who finished in trade mark style.  Jamie Heaffey in goal was quick off his line on a couple of occasions to deal with some dangerouus balls and never looked troubled by a last minute penalty that sailed over the bar.

U12 girls hit Hemel for eight

The under 12 girls recorded a confident 8-0 victory against an inexperienced Hemel Hempstead Town side.

>From the kick off the ball spent virtually all of the first ten minutes in the Hemel half. However the pressure had not resulted in any goals despite a number of chances. Megan Wynne then broke the deadlock with a fine solo run. A few minutes later she doubled the lead with another well taken goal.

Grace Lewis was next on the scoresheet, to make the score 3-0, with an instinctive strike from within the 6 yard box.

Hannah Ford joined in the action soon after to score the fourth and five goals both of which were well taken.

Megan Wynne then scored her third to make the score 6-0 at half time.

The second half began with St Albans continuing to make chances although Hemel did also have two or three chances on the break. Hadley Ladd scored two excellent goals the first with a run from the half way line and the second with a shot from the edge of the box, to make the final score 8-0.

Alea Brooke was named player of the match with one of her best performances in midfield.

This was a convincing victory. Having said that despite the scoreline the girls do need to start using the full width of the pitch, and also to pass the ball more.

Glorious start

St Albans U12 East's glorious start to the season continued with a comprehensive 10 goal to nil win over Wodson Park, which sees them progress into the third round of the County Cup. The visitors from the Mid Herts League had won their first round match by 12-0 and were expected to provide some stiff opposition but playing up the slope St Albans were off to another quick start which demoralised the opposition. Five goals were registered in each half as follows:

4 mins: Goro Nishioka taps in a spilled shot
10 mins: Kieran Donovan stays cool to round the keeper and slot home
16 mins: a Goro strike from the edge of the box
25 mins: Jacob Wroe fires one home off the post from the edge of the box after a good lay off from Aidan Fortune
28 mins: Goro completes his hat-trick with a thunderous strike after he stays on his feet after a desperate attempted 'tackle' in the box
32 mins: Goro slots home his fourth after Jacob cuts open the defence (both are then subbed!)
40 mins: Captain for the day James Lowthian taps home after Dean Kemp's shot beats the keeper and comes off the post.
44 mins: Mark Wilson does well to keep the ball in play on the bye-line and James meets his cross to head home number 8.
47 mins: hat-trick time for James with another close range tap-in from Dean's parried shot
50 mins: Wodson Park's misery is complete when a defender smacks James' shot into his own net, then 8 minutes later in a bizarre end to the match the Wodson Manager takes his team off the pitch in somewhat mysterious circumstances.

Despite the one-way traffic this was another controlled polished performance from the East. Charlie Hunter put in another commanding display this time from the centre of the park with substitutes Eddie Gray and Ryan Maher making rare appearances in midfield. In defence George Bullock, Brodie Hollis and Will Northage plus keeper Tom Coulton always looked calm and in control, and whilst not getting on the scoresheet striker Aidan Fortune had his best game this season and was the hub of most moves around the opposition's box.

U12 East: T Coulton; G Bullock, W Northage, B Hollis; M Wilson, J Wroe (E Gray), C Hunter, K Donovan (R Maher), J Lowthian; G Nishioka (D Kemp), A Fortune.

Under 11's

Great result

St Albans City Youth Under 11s West beat Parkfield 3 - 2 at home. A quick start from Parkfield lead to the first goal as their player spun in the box and scored a skillful goal. City replied immediately with Dominic Oliver picking up a ball cleared from defence and finishing well. City then took control of the match and had some good chances Laurence Blow and David Towndrow came close with a long range shots. Just before half time Harvey Scott assisted Toby Sakata for City's second. With only seconds left of the first half Harvey Scott used his strength and made it three. In the second half City were under pressure from Parkfield and only some brave saves from Matthew Rodford kept City in the game. Parkfield found the net after 54 minutes with an unstoppable shot. The remaining minutes were tight but the young Saints played well and deserved the 3 - 2 win. The defence of Captain James Pellington, Chris Hudson, Ben Attewell, Jake Deacon, Alistair Sandiford and Carl Palin played well. Man of the Match went to Matthew Rodford who made an impressive debut in goal for City.

Under 10's

Great start

St Albans U10 West started their WFL Red Division campaign with a hard fought one nil victory over Whetstone Tigers, last season's runners-up who had scored 58 unanswered goals in their 5 league cup group matches! The only goal of the game came from Jack McNamara who fired home high into the net
after a neat pass from Kane Thomas. St Albans' defending and cover play was excellent and the lads were unlucky not to add to the scoresheet with the Whetstone keeper pulling off a series of oustanding saves.

U10 West: W Crafts; L Wroe, D Watkins; H Maher, J McNamara, O Marjarom; K Thomas; M Taylor, T Ashton, D Rossen, C O'Regan.

 

 

 

W/E 10th October 2004

Under 18's

Local derby in more ways than one

West did not play well but managed to take all three points from a Garston side that seemed more intent on imposing their physical presence than playing football.  With more than 60 percent of the possession, West should have scored more than the two well taken first half goals from Godden.  Clark shot narrowly wide, Patterson saw a header go close and a shot hit the side netting, and James shot over twice when well placed.  Jaravaza did manage to get the ball in the net, seizing on to a good through ball from Gray and rounding the keeper, but the goal was disallowed for off-side.  It must have been the narrowest of possible decisions, but not a City player complained.

On 33 minutes West gifted Garston a goal when a poor back-pass from Hawes left Kosky with too much to do and this clearance was blocked.  The Garston forward stroked the ball into an empty net.

In the second half the game degenerated as petty and niggly fouls repeatedly stopped the game.  Bailey was booked for City, and three Garston players joined him in the ref’s notebook.  With ten minutes to go, Garston got the ball in the net but it was ruled off-side.  The Garston management, parents and players mobbed the linesman and the game was held up while the referee restored order.  Following further off the ball incidents, two Garston players were then shown red cards. 

Against 9 men in the closing minutes City had several chances to finish the game, with Jaravaza and Clark getting in each others way when either one of them should easily have scored, Patterson twice shooting into the ‘keepers legs and Jaravaza missing two more gilt-edged chances.  West cannot afford to squander so many chances on another day.

Josh Godden’s two goals won the game, and his general contribution throughout was excellent. In defence, Steve Hawes made up for his error on the Garston goal with an otherwise assured performance.

Team:  Kosky; Bailey, Hawes, Kumar (Smith, 54); Patterson, Lock (Lattuca, 58), Clark, Gray; Godden (Anderson, 84); Jaravaza, James

Under 13's

Start of the County Cup Road

The U/13 North progressed into the third round of the County Cup after beating Cuffley from the Mid Herts League by five goals to nil. With the wind behind them and playing down the slope, St. Albans pegged Cuffley back into their own half straight from the kick off. After only five minutes St. Albans were awarded a penalty for handball which Luke Campion hammered home with confidence, power and style. For long periods of the remainder of the first period, St. Albans had plenty of possession but were unable to deliver the final pass to unlock the Cuffley defence. However, just before half time, Luke Campion picked up the ball in the penalty area, went wide around a defender and squeezed the ball into the far corner of the net from a tight angle to make it 2 – 0.

The fear of a second half comeback from Cuffley with the slope and the elements in their favour disappeared quickly when St. Albans stepped up a gear and increased their work rate. St. Albans dominated the midfield and were playing some neat flowing football to keep Cuffley firmly pinned back in their own half again. In the fifty sixth minute, Sam Wilson made it 3 – 0 with a wonderful strike from outside the area, high into the top far corner of the net. Four minutes later a telling cross from the left wing by Elliott Goward found James Laws who calmly beat the keeper from ten yards to finish off a good move. Despite the pressure and possession, St. Albans had to wait until the seventieth minute to score their fifth and final goal. James Killen who had been playing right back, ventured forward to join an attack when the ball bounced outside the penalty area and fell nicely for him to volley over the Cuffley keeper into the net for a good goal. A good polished hard working performance.

Hang in there

With only 11 players available it was a serious blow when two did not show.  The remaining nine then put on a tremendous first half display against Northwood that even the home manager acknowledged to be better than the home team.  The half time 3-0 score did not reflect the half but was the result of a harsh penalty decision and the over-ruling of the assistant referee who had flagged for off-side.  The girls did not appear to start the second half and conceded two goals in the first minute, matters did not get better.  However the girls drew on hidden reserves and took the game to the home side in the last quarter, conceding no more goals and giving as good as they got.  The nine tried to play football and battled well throughout but Rebecca Atkins’ solid, Player of the Match,  performance at the heart of the defence set an example for the others.

A great deal of hard work and application will be needed before next week.

Under 12's

St  Albans overcome battling Bushey

The u12 girls overcame a strong Bushey Rangers side 6-2. Even though the
scoreline would suggest an easy win, this was not really the case. Bushey started the game strongly and penned St Albans into their own half for the first five minutes of the game. After this the girls started coming into the game and soon after a fine through ball by Hayley Ladd sent Megan Wynne clear for a fine breakaway goal. A few minutes later after confusion in the Bushey box, Grace Lewis rifled an unstoppable shot into the top of the Bushey net 2-0. The game became an end to end affair Lucy Hancock pulled off three or four really good saves in the St Albans goal, gefore Megan Wynne scored her second to make the score 3-0 at half time. Megan scored her hat-trick 5 minutes into the second half, but with St Albans playing against the wind Bushey continued to press forward, and scored a deserved goal mid way through the half. Megan Wynne then scored her four with an excellent solo run and finish, before Bushey came back with a second goal after Lucy Hancock had done really well to get her hands to a high shot only to see the ball trickle over the line. In the last five minutes Hannah Ford sealed the victory with a strong run and shot through the centre. This was another good team performance against a Bushey team that pressed forward throughout the game.
Lucy Hancock received the player of the match award for a fine goal keeping
display.

West come so close

Wests first League game of the season saw Tom Weaver and Scott Howlett link up well on the right of midfield and Charlie Craigen and Stuart Cole battled for every ball on the left.  Some end to end play in the first half saw two evenly matched teams nil nil at half time.  West didn't take some good chances, and some excellent defending from Elliott Jay and man of the match Joe Murtagh kept out the Raiders attacks. The second half West dominated and pushed forward but could not score. After 15 minutes of West pressure Raiders broke away to score which they repeated again four minutes later. West never gave up and kept battling but were never rewarded with a goal that they deserved and they certainly did not deserve to lose.

East -v- County Champions

After last week's exertions the St Albans U12 East lads knew that the hard work started today with the visit of last year's County Cup Champions, Everett Rovers Blue in the first round of the Challenge Cup. Although the omens felt good the lads had a disastrous start after Everett won a corner which was converted into the home net with only 30 seconds gone. This spurred the lads on and when Louis McNamara was maliciously scythed down, St Albans knew that they had to compete hard for every ball to get back into the match. Consequently the defence of Eddie Gray, Ryan Maher and Charlie Hunter impressing on his debut, settled and on the only other occassion Everett broke through Tom Coulton pulled off an impressive diving save to turn the ball around the post. With the wind and Marlborough slope against them a one-nil deficit looked to be a good first half performance but it got even better just 2 minutes from the interval, when deep into Everett's half Kieran Donovan's quick throw in found Goro Nishioka in the box. Goro's shot beat the keeper but was blocked by a defender into the path of Jacob Wroe who hammered it into the roof of the net from 6 yards out. Lee Close almost made it two at the break but his shot his shot hit the outside of the post.

In the second half St Albans pressed and pressed and were rewarded after 10 minutes with a clinical strike from Lee Close who outpaced the Everett defence  and shot past the advancing keeper high into the net. With many tackles flying in Max O'Shea and Dean Kemp in the centre of the park managed to stay calm and played many excellent balls down the flanks and into space. One of these paid off with the third goal which again came from the boot of Lee Close who saw the keeper off his line and lobbed him from the right hand edge of the penalty area. Towards the end the fresh legs of Aidan Fortune, Brodie Hollis and George Bullock secured the result.

Overall the 3-1 victory was well-deserved, and at times St Albans' passing was quite sublime. In the coming weeks U12 East know that Red Division football will bring many more difficult matches but in the meantime celebrate the 10th straight win.....!

U12 East: Coulton; Hunter, Gray (capt), Wroe, Maher; McNamara, Close, Kemp (Hollis), O'Shea, Donovan (Bullock); Nishioka (Fortune).

W/E 3rd October 2004

Under 18's

Canter

West got through the first round of the Herts County Cup in a canter against a determined and well organised Kings Langley side.  Patterson was once again the key player for West, scoring the opening goal with a deflected shot that beat the ‘keeper at the front post, and then climbing above the defence to head home a Max Gray cross from the left.  Kings Langley then scored with a long range shot just before half-time.

In the second half West ran the Kings Langley defence ragged, and but for the inability of the forwards to stay onside might have scored many more goals.  They hit the net only three more times, Patterson notching his hat-trick and Jaravaza and Clark grabbing one each. 

In a comfortable and competent West performance, Steve Hawes was outstanding and Josh Godden had an impressive game when coming on in the second half.  With Lock and Clark also playing well, and Max Gray now starting to find his best form, the West midfield is really beginning to tick.

Team:  Kosky; Bailey, Hawes, Rhodes; Patterson, Lock (Lattuca, 58), Clark (Anderson, 62), Gray; Jaravaza; James, Smith (Godden, 53)

 

Under 13's

First league victory

The under 13’s North won their first league game of the season by five goals to one after a goal less first eighteen minutes. Luke Campion opened the scoring for his first goal of the season, with a good shot from the edge of the area to make the score 1 – 0. Two minutes later Edmonton equalised with a well-struck free kick that was needlessly given away when St. Albans failed to clear the ball. In the twenty fourth minute, Elliott Goward drove down the left flank and put in a dangerous low cross into the ‘six yard’ box that was converted into the net by an Edmonton defender. The goal of the game came in the thirty second minute when St. Albans won a corner. Edmonton seemed to have dealt with the danger when one of their players cleared the ball to the edge of the penalty area. As the ball dropped, Tommy Hunt, who had ventured forward was waiting and hit a right foot volley that flew into the net, just under the crossbar with incredible power for a tremendous goal to make it 3 – 1.

Five minutes into the second half, Luke Thatcher did well to shoot into the far corner of the net from a very tight angle to make it 4 – 1. Seven minutes later Elliott Goward scored City’s fifth with a header after a good cross from the right wing by Sam Wilson. For the remaining twenty three minutes, St. Albans took their foot off the pedal and failed to increase their goal tally. Edmonton rarely threatened and the game fizzled out finishing 5 – 1 to St. Albans. Well done to Nathan Byrne (first half) and James Laws (second half) for volunteering to go in goal to deputise for Harry Honeywood who got injured playing rugby the day before.

 

Reardon earns Player of the match

With the score at 6-0 to Stevenage at half time the the Under 13's Girls deserve credit for the way they played the second half.  They should have scored more and denied the visitors any chances.  With only 11 players again it is not possible to claim the girls tired this week, in fact they seem to be getting used to 35 minute halves.

Midfield was the problem, as it has been all last season too.  The defence played well but found themselves under constant pressure because the midfield were on walkabout.  The midfield got a tighter grip in the second half and it paid dividends.  If they get a better grip we can look to creating more attacks and supporting them.

Tiffany Harbron scored the well taken goal after a great number of practice efforts.  Hannah Reardon, despite her bad back, put on a rousing and commanding performance at the heart of the defence to earn the Player of the Match award.

Under 12's

U12 girls unlucky to lose

The U12 girls went away to Luton Town Belles and were unlucky to lose the
game. Despite the defeat they should be pleased with their efforts. Luton are currently the top team in the division, and for the first five minutes the girls appeared slightly overawed. However they soon got into the game. They were having the better of the game and had more chances before Luton scored after a defensive mix up. The girls were undaunted and continued to press forward. However the score remained 1-0 at half time. The second half continued in the same vein with St Albans having more of the ball and the better chances but not being able to find the back of the  net. With 10 minutes to go Luton scored from a breakaway to virtually seal the match. St Albans continued to press forward but became more stretched as they looked to get back into the game. On another day the result might well have been different but Luton ended up 2-0 winners in a thoroughly competitive game played in a good spirit.

Hayley Ladd was player of the match with a commanding display in midfield.

East carry on winning

After the limitations of the opposition in previous weeks, London Colney were expected to give the U12 East boys their first true test this season and despite an uncertain first half, one nil down finished three one up.

Playing against the slope in the first half St Albans play was at best patchy, but they had the first real chance when Kieran Donovan latched onto a wayward clearance only for his shot to cannon off the advancing keeper's legs. Colney's pressure was soaked up by the defence of Eddie Gray, Ryan Maher, Will Northage and some good cover from winger Louis McNamara, but they couldn't do anything about Colney's opener when on 10 minutes a half cleared corner was struck well from outside the box and flew in off the post giving keeper Tom Coulton no chance. After a stern team talk at half time, the team put on a much more unified performance from the restart with Jacob Wroe, Max O'Shea and Dean Kemp now winning the majority of the play with some committed tackling. With Aidan Fortune making way for Lee Close who had been studded in the chest in the first half, things started to click and the boys finally scored with 45 minutes on the clock. The equaliser came from Dean's corner which was headed on by Lee, and deflected into the net via a defender's head. This spurred on the East and rattled Colney, and with the fresh legs of Mark Wilson and a desperate punch by Tom Coulton the ball was worked downfield into the opponent's box. What should have been an easy take for the Colney keeper was spilled into the the path of Goro Nishioka, giving our samurai the easiest of goals and the lead with 5 minutes to go. With three minutes of injury time on the clock two became three with Goro completing his brace with some help from the inside of the post.

Overall a good test of character and a wake up call for next week's match when the lads take on County Champions Everett Rovers Blue in the Challenge Cup. By the way nine matches, nine wins.........not bad! 

U12 East: Coulton; Gray, Maher, Northage (Wilson); Donovan, Wroe, Kemp, O'Shea, McNamara; Fortune, Close (Nishioka). Bullock  

Under 11's

So near

St Albans City West u11s lost 7 - 6 away to Enfield Rangers. City conceded 4 goals in twenty minutes and hardly looked in the game. Enfield supplied all the pressure and proved too good from set pieces. When all the heads were down Toby Sakata turned it on and scored what looked like a consolation goal and sure enough Enfield responded from the kick off to go 5 - 1 up. Once again though Toby beat the offside trap and went through to score just before half time setting City. After a strong talking too at half time City came out running with Harvey Scott finishing well to make it 5 - 3 then two minutes late Scott netted again. two minutes later a deliberate hand ball in Enfield's area was only awarded with a free kick on the edge of the box. Dominic Oliver stepped up and scored with a fantastic dipping shot to draw City level. Not wishing to miss out Toby completed his hat trick and put the young saints 6 - 5 ahead. Four goals in six minutes was a superb come back. Enfield did not give in and two goal mouth scrambles somehow kept the ball out. A couple of outstanding saves from Ben Lee and some off the line defending from the defence of Captain James Pellington, Chris Hudson, Jake Deacon, Alistair Sandiford and Ben Attewell looked like they had done enough. Unluckily a half cleared ball fell to Enfield and the strike was unstoppable. 6 - 6 looked to be a fair result from a very exciting match. The seventh goal for Enfield came from what looked to be offside attack but the flag stayed down and the goal stood. The whole team played well in the second half and with a quicker start they could have won. Joe Crawshaw and Jack Evans worked hard on the right of midfield although Man of the match goes to Jake Deacon who had a solid match at left back.

 

W/E 26th September 2004

Under 18's

All 3 Points for the West

The early chances fell to West, with James setting up Clark for a drive that the keeper parried, and then Godden and Jaravaza both shot wide from good positions.  At the other end, Borehamwood played well on the break, and West were twice fortunate not to concede, Bailey putting in a last ditch tackle to save a sure goal, and then Smith clearing from the line after Kosky had been beaten.  When West’s goal came it had a bit of luck about it.  As the ‘keeper cleared a long ball from Gray it struck James’s chest and rebounded into the empty net.

It was Aces who scored next, after a penalty was awarded when the ball bounced up and hit Bailey on the arm.  It was a harsh decision, and Kosky nearly saw justice done as he dived to his right to palm the ball away but it went in off the post.  City now reorganised, with Lock coming on for Lattuca in midfield.  Despite a series of good chances, West could not find the net.  A period of pressure was finally rewarded on 67 minutes when Patterson climbed well at the front post to head home Gray’s corner.  West’s flying winger has now scored in five consecutive matches.

West now had to dig in as Borehamwood pushed forward, Smith and Bailey both clearing their lines well, and Hawes getting back to hook a shot from the goal line after Kosky had been beaten to a through ball.  An injury to Hawes in the final ten minutes forced West to deploy Gray as an emergency centre-back, with Anderson slotting in on the left.  The makeshift back four coped well with a late Borehamwood flurry.  It was West who finished on top in the final five minutes, with Patterson and James coming close, and Clark hitting the post from ten yards.   

Under 13's

Sun Postal 1 v 1 Under 13 North

After losing in the Challenge Cup Final to St. Albans 3-1 at the end of last season, Sun Postal would have wanted revenge, and a tough game was anticipated.

Both teams started strong and the game went from end to end with some good football being played. Charles Norman was back in the centre of defence alongside Tommy Hunt after returning from injury. Both players were outstanding from start to finish. Harry Honeywood had to make a crucial save with his feet mid way through the half to keep the score at 0-0. At the other end, Elliott Goward, Toby Irish and Luke Campion all had shots on target but none had the power or accuracy to beat the opposing keeper.

In the second half, the pattern was the same with both teams battling for dominance. The deadlock was finally broken when Nathan Byrne went through on goal and tucked the ball into the net under the advancing goalkeeper. St. Albans upped the work rate and fought for everything and should have increased their lead on numerous occasions. However, they didn’t and after a goal-mouth scramble and with only five minutes remaining, Sun Postal cleared the ball to the halfway line where Mark Hiller appeared to be fouled. The referee waved play on and the Sun Postal winger went down the right and curled in a cross –shot that unfortunately looped into the far corner of the net for the equaliser. St. Albans can count themselves unlucky not to pick up all three points, although with better finishing could have been two or three goals up before being pegged back to 1-1. Some very good performances especially from Ben Talbot, Sam Wilson, Mark Hiller and the hard working Toby Irish.

 

Big Improvement for 13's Girls

A big improvement on two weeks ago.  The scoreline does not do the girls justice.  They deservedly went into half time at 2-2 and could easily have been well ahead if they had converted more of the many chances created.  The home goalkeeper kept them in the game.  After conceding another, Tiffany Harbron completed her hat trick to level the scores again.  A big pitch and only 11 players proved too much and the extra 10 minutes playing time finally wore the girls down.  Two sloppy goals went in but Jane Jardine kept spirits up with the fourth goal.  Exhaustion led to two more goals but the girls did not give up against a team likely to win the league.  Something to build on.

Under 12's

U12 girls win at a stroll

The U12 girls easily beat an under strength Potters Bar Crusaders team 12-1.

The first goal came from Megan Wynne, and more in the first half followed from Josie Green, Hayley Ladd, Hannah Ford (2), Lucy Mann and another  from Megan.

In the second half Potters Bar came out determinedly and made much more of a game of it. However Hayley Ladd made the score 8-0, before Potters Bar scored to make the score 8-1. Further goals from Megan Wynne, Michaella Fleming, Alea Brooke and Hayley Ladd made the final score 12-1. Sam May was named player of the match for a spirited performance in both halves!

County success for the 12's East

St Albans U12 East travelled to the pictureseque setting of Hare Street on the Herts border for their first round fixture in the County Cup match against Hormead Hares FC.



The hosts were very much an unknown quantity and put up a brave fighting display before the class of St Albans East began to tell. The opener came on 11 minutes when the keeper could only parry Lee Close's hard shot into the path of James Lowthian who rifled home the rebound. Lee doubled the score within a minute when he ran into the box and hit Jacob Wroe's spinning lob on the half volley past a bewildered keeper - you won't see a better finish this season!  With Goro Nishioka menacing the back four it was soon his turn to get into the act and the third duly came when the keeper found his shot too hot to handle, and the half save dropped over his head and into the net. Hormead didn't give up and before half time were were unlucky not to be given a penalty when a three way collision between George Figg, and keeper Tom Coulton finished up with the Hares' striker being upended in the boxup. To his credit the ref kept his whistle in his pocket and centreback Brodie Hollis made good ground to divert the incoming goal bound shot past the post.

In the second half Hormead pulled a goal back with quarter of an hour to go, but St Albans soon took total control of the match with Jacob being rewarded for his hard work with the fourth goal before Goro slotted the fifth past the now hard pressed Hares keeper. In the dying minutes the boys camped in the hares box with a series of corners and hit the bar and post, before George Bullock somehow managed to screw his shot past an almost open goal. Special mentions to 'Man of the Match' Louis McNamara with another faultless performance on the wing and team captain and 'new centurion' Eddie Gray.

On other occasions it could have been double figures, but the boys can be happy with a good footballing display, another victory and a Cup run now begging.

U12 East: Coulton; Gray, Hollis, Bullock (Northage); Figg (Kemp); McNamara, Wroe, O'Shea (Wilson), Lowthian; Nishioka, Close.

Valiant effort

 

The 12's West missing several key players had their worst result of the season.  A very strong Riverside AFC dominated the midfield and finished clinically. Despite a valiant effort from joint men of the match, Richard Cook and Charlie Craigen in defence, West constantly had their backs to the wall.  The only bright spots were from an excellent Ryan Rickard through ball that was superbly struck by Carl Biggs from outside the box and the ball sailed over the keepers head leaving him no chance.  The other highlight came when Elliott Jay battled through and went round the keeper to cross to Jack Siberry who slotted it just inside the right post.  

 

Under 11's

MOM Sakata

St Albans City U11s West lost 4 - 1 to London Maccabi Lions. A very slow start from City meant that despite a great effort from Toby Sakata in goal two corners gave two quick goals. With out any real width to the game the young Saints struggled to keep the ball out of their own half and a third goal went in for London Lions 5 minutes before half time. The Second half saw City play better and the opening move of the match set up Harvey Scott who hit the post. Many more attacks nearly lead to a goal before London Lions broke away and scored their fourth. City did not give up and played better and better as the match went on and all the pressure lead to a well taken goal by David Towndrow set up by Harvey Scott. Will Jacobs, Joe Crawshaw, Laurie Blow and Ben Lee all worked hard in midfield. as did Chris Hudson, James Pellington (unlucky not to score with a Blistering header), Ben Attewell and Lewis Baxendine in defence. The match finished with City putting more and more pressure on the London Lions. Man of the match for a second week running went to this weeks goalkeeper Toby Sakata

W/E Sunday 19th September 2004

Under 18's

Well played

The West injury curse continued as Max Gray limped from the field after only 6 minutes play.  Southgate took advantage and Smith conceded a penalty.  West were on levels terms a few minutes later when Patterson strode past two defenders to drive the ball high into the net.  West now looked comfortable, but when Kumar carelessly squandered possession Southgate’s Hunt smartly nipped in to drive the ball across Kosky.

West reorganized at the interval, and pushed Jaravaza out left, where he did an excellent job snuffing out the threat down that flank.  Within 30 seconds of the restart and fine ball from Hawes set Ferdinand free, and he neatly chipped the ‘keeper from 25 yards. West now took a grip of the game, taking the lead on 68 mins, after an eight-player move ended with a Clark drive that the keeper could only parry.  James followed up to tuck it away. 

The final two goals were a tribute to the quality West’s play.  Another sweeping move saw James place a precision cross at Patterson’s feet, and he crashed the ball home. For the fifth James collected the ball from Lattuca on the edge of the box and curled a delightful shot beyond the ‘keeper.

This was a superb performance against an excellent side.  The forwards got the plaudits, but the keeper and back three deserve great credit too.  At 1-2 down, Kosky made two saves that kept West in the game. Steve Hawes marshalled things, and Liam Smith had an impressive game alongside him.  But man of the match was Brinsley Bailey, who made a fantastic clearance from under the crossbar in the first half and was faultless in his play throughout.

Team:  Kosky; Bailey, Hawes, Smith; Patterson, Lattuca, Clark, Gray (Kumar, 6: Lock, 47), Jaravaza; James, Ferdinand

Under 14's                                                                           

City 'West' put in another good performance.

The Under 14's West playing at home, against Croxley Guild, in the first round of the league Cup, put in a sparkling first half performance to progress into the next round.

City started the first half more positive, and the deadlock was broken, when Nick Glasgow scored with a shot just outside the area, 1-0 to the City Boys.

Dan Burtt, who hit the ball from 30 yards, over the keeper, scored the second, 2-0. The same player scoring his second, City’s third, beating the keeper from inside the area. Halftime 3-0 to City.

The ‘West’ started the second half brightly, scoring from a corner. Stelios Iasonos picking up the pieces on the penalty spot, and shooting through a crowd of players, for his first goal of the season, 4-0.

Croxley Guild scored twice, to peg back the score to 4-2, making the final 10 minutes, very exiting for the neutral.

Matt Bennett picked up the 'Man of the Match' award, for a solid performance in goal, also pulling of a couple of fine saves, in the later stages of the game.

Under 13's

Lemsford 0 v 5 Under 13 North

The U/13 North were drawn against Lemsford from the Mid Herts Rural Minors League in the 1st Round of the County Cup. St. Albans started strong and controlled the game from the first whistle. Mark Hiller and Nathan Byrne both hit the woodwork before Elliott Goward opened the scoring in the eighteenth minute with a left foot shot from the edge of the box after a powerful run down the left wing. Two minutes later the same player scored again after the Lemsford keeper made a mistake and mishandled his shot. Harry Fountain was unlucky when his shot into the far corner of the net was ruled out for handball.

The second half was very similar to the first with St. Albans in control. Again it took a while to break down the Lemsford defence but in the fiftieth minute James Laws made it 3-0 with a close range effort. Ten minutes later Toby Irish scored the fourth with a good strike across the keeper into the far corner of the net after missing a couple of earlier chances. A minute later, Nathan Byrne rattled the crossbar with a twenty five yard shot that bounced on the line and was converted by James Laws for his second and City’s fifth. St. Albans will meet Cuffley in round 2 after a good all round team performance where everyone played well.

 

Under 12's

U12 girls beat Northwood convincingly

The U12 girls beat Northwood 6-1 to achieve their first win of the season.

 

The girls started strongly and soon had the Northwood defence under pressure. The first goal came after ten minutes with an excellent long range strike from Michaela Fleming. The goals continued to come thick and fast with strikes from Hannah Ford, Winnie Wallace (with her first goal for the club), Hannah Ford and Grace Lewis. This left the score 5-0 at half time.

The second half started in a different vein with Northwood playing with the wind behind then putting concerted pressure on the St. Albans goal. Ten minutes into the half they scored a deserved goal.

St. Albans lifted their game and although there were chances at both ends started to become more dominant. Some great saves by the Northwood keeper kept the score at 5-1, until Michaela scored an excellent second, lobbing the goalie from 20 yards.

St Albans had chances to extend the lead in the dieing minutes but the score remained 6-1.

Erin Fogarty, who is improving week on week, was player of the match with a dominant performance in the centre of the St Albans defence.

St Albans City West 1 William Morris Santos 4

An unconvincing first half performance rarely saw West first to the ball and despite some good work from man of the match Myles Smith in defence  they found themselves 2 down at half time. However the second half saw a vastly improved performance and West looked the better team, however Scott Howlett, Jon Mallaburn and Elliott Jay were all unlucky not to convert chances and the only West goal came from a rebounded Carl Biggs effort which Ryan Rickard finished well. It should have been closer but West need to be focused for the full 60 minutes and take their chances.

Battling performance

It looked bleak when West conceeded from a corner after just 1 minute against last seasons two division higher winners.  However, West have so far shown much more spirit this season and kept the pressure on with some good work in the midfield from Stuart Cole and Elliott Jay. They were rewarded when Aces handled a drop kick in their half which was punished by a superb Jon Mallaburn free kick fired in the top corner, from 10m outside the box. 5 minutes later, another of Jamie Heaffeys long range drop kicks, bounced over the Aces defence for an on form Jon to once again slot home in great style. Aces were never down in this end to end battle and levelled the score once again 5 minutes later.  The whole team led by Captain Charlie Craigen kept battling for every ball and once again took the lead when Matt Peckhams excellent long range effort found the back of the net.  Jon was unlucky not to make his second hat trick this season when he deftly turned a defender in the box to have his shot saved just before half time.  The second half West did not capatalise on the few opportunities they had and again found themselves particularly exposed in the air, eventually losing 6-3 but should be proud of a gutsy performance. 

Great weekend for the 12's East

In the third of their league cup group games St Albans U12 East made easy work of Oxhey United to dispatch the minnows by eight goals to nil. With Oxhey's defence as mobile as ' a harpooned Free Willy' six goals were scored in the first half - Goro Nishioka found last season's prolific form with 4 goals whilst Max O'Shea weighed in with his first and second goals of the season. After the restart the tempo dropped with the opposition dropping back deep into their own half but just as the spectators were nodding off James Lowthian scored with a neat header before another shot was turned into the net for an own goal.

Notable performances came from Tom Coulton in goal who stayed wake long enough to make two top class saves, and newcomer Kieran Donovan who linked well with Louis McNamara and Jacob Wroe in midfield the latter unlucky not to register on the scoresheet when his shot hit the post. Overall the match can be classed as a mismatch with the biggest cheer of the day reserved for the Brownie party, who released a couple of hundred balloons over Killigrew.

U12 East: Coulton; Bullock, Hollis, Maher (Wilson); McNamara (Lowthian), Wroe, Figg, O'Shea, Donovan; Fortune, Nishioka (Close).

12's East Match two

With seven matches played and seven wins recorded the 12 East steamroller continues to gain momentum this season. The latest victims in the league cup were previously unbeaten Bedmond Ajax Green who were put to the sword 6-0.

A better standard of opposition brought out the best of the East team in the first half, and after Jacob Wroe had hit the post and had a good goal disallowed, Louis McNamara's pinpoint cross was converted by Goro Nishioka. Lee Close added the second with a rasping strike from the edge of the box after a Dean Kemp knock down, before Dean struck with a deadly free-kick from 30 yards for the third. James Lowthian scored for the third game running for St Albans' fourth and Lee rose above the defence with a powerful header for the fifth. In the second half and with ten minutes to go substitute Aidan Fortune completed the scoring with a netbuster after good work from Louis and Kieran Donovan who had replaced the hardworking Max O'Shea. Special mention to the defence of Brodie Hollis, Will Northage and Eddie Gray/George Bullock with Tom Coulton in goal who held firm against a revitalised Bedmond attack to record their third consecutive clean sheet.

Next week the www.besport.com lads start their County Cup game with a trip to the distance reaches of Herts against Hormead Hares FC.

U12 East: Coulton; Gray (Bullock), Hollis, Northage; McNamara, Wroe, Kemp, O'Shea (Donovan), Lowthian; Close, Nishioka (Fortune).

Under 11's

Busy Weekend for the 11's West

St Albans City Youth U11s West beat Alexandra Park North 7 - 1 in their third League Cup qualifying match. A very windy day at Killigrew saw City go a goal down to a very tall Alexandra Park side. This spurred the team on and fine work by Jack Evans on the right was rewarded with a Jack Evans shot cleared back to Jack which he fired into the net. Harvey Scott made it two after some more good attacking play. The first half finished 2 - 1. Nine minutes into the second half a great through ball from David Towndrow gave Harvey Scott the opportunity to run through and score his second. Harvey completed his Hat trick after a long drop kick from Goalie Ben Lee found him one on one with the keeper. The 19th minute saw the strangest goal of the match with Laurie Blow claiming a chased down ball which with the aid of the wind found itself in the net. Laurie set up the next with an in swinging corner which needed the slightest of touches from Chris Hudson. Toby Sakata finished off the goal scoring with a fine solo effort hit low into the net. The defence of captain James Pellington, Jake Deacon, Carl Palin and Chris Hudson seldom looked troubled and some skillful play by Carl Palin earned him man of the match.

Match two

In their second match of the weekend St Albans City Youth U11s West lost 2 - 3 to Panshanger Yellow in the county cup. Panshanger took an early lead with a soft goal. This was not the start that City needed in a game where they looked under pressure. Panshangers second came from a poor piece of defending allowing the away side to finish after a goal mouth scramble. The two goals seemed to settle St Albans and they started to push their way back into the game. Toby Sakata skillfully turned their defence and pulled a goal back just before half time.  The second half saw a much better performance from City with many close opportunities eventually the pressure was rewarded with a great finish from Laurence Blow. Then Harvey Scott and Laurie could have made it three just being denied by Panshangers defence.Dominic Oliver made an outstanding goal line clearance to keep the young saints in the game and the whole team started to play better. Just as the game looked as though it would go into extra time Panshanger were awarded a free kick for a foul on one of their defenders. The game was stopped for some minutes whilst he received treatment unfortunately when the game was restarted Panshanger broke quickly down the right and scored. In the last few minutes of added on time City didn't give up and nearly broke through. This was a very close match and with a bit more luck would have gone Citys way.. Well played everyone.. Man of the match Toby Sakata

 

W/E Sunday 12th September 2004

Under 18's

Injury free equals Win

This was an assured performance by West to totally outplay a Harpenden side that lined up with five men at the back and only one forward.  In the opening minutes Kosky made two good saves, but after Patterson scored the opener, turning home a Gray corner on 26 minutes, West poured forward creating chance after chance.  James twice shot narrowly wide, and Ferdinand brought an excellent save from Collins in the Harpenden goal.  Patterson gave West a 2-0 advantage before half-time, hooking the ball home after another dangerous set piece from Gray.

In the second period West swarmed all over Harpenden.  Smith twice went close to scoring in his first league outing, and Ferdinand brought yet another great save from Collins with a strong back-post header.  But it was Jaravaza who added to the tally, first turning home West’s third after the busy Harps ‘keeper had parried a Smith drive, and then following up on a shot by Ferdinand to drive low into the corner.  He got his hat-trick with ten minutes remaining, neatly finishing a brisk passing move.

West kept the ball exceptionally well throughout the game, with fit-again Hawes and the energetic Clark outstanding.  Lattuca also had his best game since returning to the side after injury.

Team:  Kosky; Bailey (Phillipps, 55), Hawes, Rhodes; Patterson, Lattuca, Clark, Gray (Anderson, 77), James (Smith, 60); Jaravaza, Ferdinand

Under 14's

'West' beat Muswell Hill Diamonds at home 6-2.

‘West’ playing their first home league game of the season, was back to their best. Starting brightly in the first half, the ‘city boys’ opened the scoring through Aaron Lumsdon, latching onto a through ball from Dan Burtt. Michael Gamble came of the subs bench to score the second, with a shot, proving to be ‘too hot to handle’ for the visiting keeper.    

Muswell Hill fought back and scored just before Half time, making the scoreline 2-1 to the ‘West’.  

The second half saw some reshuffling in the ‘West’ line-up, and straight away went 3-1 up, with a powereful drive from the edge of the box from Matt Mawhood, scoring his first goal of this campaign. The same player making in 4-1, scoring close range, from a corner. Nick Glasgow was next on the score sheet making it 5-1, again with a close range effort, after his header was saved.               

Muswell Hill pushed forward, and forced an error in the ‘West’ defence, to make it 5-2.   ‘West’ rounded of the game with the final goal coming from ‘Man of the Match’ Aaron Lumsdon, with his tireless running, proving to be a problem throughout the game for Muswell Hill.

Final score 6-2 to the ‘City Boys’.

'West' beat Cassiobury at home 7-1.

The 14's West also played a midweek match, starting this game, where they had left off the previous Sunday. The ‘city boys’ worked hard against a Cassiobury side, which only had the long ball out of defence to trouble City. This was dealt with by the City defence adequately, but caused a few nervous moments.  

‘West’ opened the scoring through Dan Burtt, latching onto a through ball, and rounding the keeper, for an easy tap-in.  Michael Gamble scored the second, with a shot that wrong footed the visiting keeper. Half-time score 2-0 to the City Boys.   Cassiobury fought back and scored start of the second half, making the score line 2-1 to the  ‘West’.  

The second half saw some reshuffling in the ‘West’ line-up, and straight away went 3-1 up, with a shot just inside the post from Nick Glasgow. Dan Burtt scored his second making in 4-1. ‘West’ was completely dominating the game now, and Cassiobury were just going through the motions.  Ethan Fogarty was next on the score sheet making it 5-1, finishing of a fine move with a shot passed the keeper just inside the area. Aaron Lumsdon kept up his goal a game, making 6-1. And Arron Shaw rounded off the scoring finishing in the top right hand corner, after some good tackling back by James Watt.   

‘Man of the Match’ went to Dan Burtt in midfield, in a game full of superb performances

Under 13's

‘We’ll be back’

For the second week running, Charles Norman, the team captain was missing through injury that meant re-shuffling the side. The first twenty-five minutes was fairly even although Echoes, last seasons league champions had the wind behind them that gave them a slight edge. The under 13’s North worked hard and nearly took the lead through Luke Campion when he found space on the right of the Echoes penalty area. Unfortunately, the Echoes keeper came off his line very quickly to block the goal bound shot. The signs were looking reasonably good for St. Albans until the twenty-fifth minute. A cross-field ball just inside the Echoes half was intercepted and suddenly the City defence was back peddling as Echoes countered. The ball went out to the left where an Echoes forward hit an unstoppable shot from twenty five yards past the saints keeper, Harry Honeywood. A minute later Echoes were awarded a free kick in a harmless position, forty five yards out on the right wing. The free kick was punted high towards the St. Albans goal with no real threat until unbelievably the ball sailed over the defence and bounced agonisingly into the corner of the net. Half time, 2-0 to Echoes.

In the second half, St. Albans looked a beaten team straight from the kick off. The two goals just before half time after such hard work had demoralised them. Echoes grew stronger and it was only a matter of time before they scored a third and then a fourth. During the last fifteen minutes, St. Albans were pinned back in their own half and only some frantic defending stopped Echoes from increasing their lead further. Two defeats out of two isn’t a good start but in the words of Arnie, ‘We’ll be back’.  

Tough start

New season under way but most of the Under 13's Girls minds were still on holiday. An under strength Hatfield team were allowed to run through and score when they wanted, too many times.  Poor control and passing made life harder for the girls as they went 3-0 down.  A Jane Jardine goal restored some hope and then she put Tiffany Harbron through to make it 3-2 at the break.  Instead of building on this the girls went to sleep again and conceded 5 more silly goals before stopping the rot near the end and even scoring the final goal. A great deal of hard work and application will be needed before next week.

Under 12's

U12 girls lose narrowly

The U12 girls playing their first 11 a side game lost 1-0 to a strong Hemel

Hempstead side, despite having the better of the game.

The two sides started evenly, but even though playing uphill St Albans began exerting more pressure, and ended up having much the better of the first half. Most of the play was in the Hemel half, but despite a number of half chances the girls could not score. At the other end Lucy Hancock made an excellent save from a rare Hemel breakaway.

 

The second half was much more closely contested with St Albans playing some good football and coming close on a number of occasions, but Hemel looking more dangerous as well. With 10 minutes to go Hemel scored with a break through the middle. Although the girls battled hard they could not get the goal that their efforts deserved.

This was the girls first 11 aside game and they adapted well to the new

format. Player of the match was Rachel Sherlow, who had an excellent first

game at right back.

 

12's West's first win

 

West’s first win of the season came in convincing style.  Man of the match was shared between Scott Howlett and Matt Peckham on the right of midfield who developed a great understanding and constantly caused Evergreen problems with some excellent crosses and penetrating runs. Stuart Cole and Ryan Rickard on the left of midfield also worked really hard and battled for every ball. Stuart opened the scoring after just 2 minutes when a Myles Smith header was not dealt with by the keeper and fell to his feet just outside the 6 yard box.   Ryan, Matt and Carl Biggs then set up Jon Mallaburn for his hat trick.  Luke Jeffery then fired home a poor clearance and Carl finished off a Jack Siberry rebounded shot to make it 6.  A solid performance from the defence ensured a clean sheet and West also had 2 disallowed.

East on a run

St Albans U12 East strolled out easy winners with nine unanswered goals against Chorleywood Blue in the second of their League Cup Group matches.

A trademark Lee Close goal was the lads' sole reward in the first half and although several good chances were created St Albans were thwarted time and time again by the home defence. The second half was a different story and the lads moved up several gears from the kick-off with a left foot strike flying into the top of the net from 'man of the match' James Lowthian  within seconds. This signalled the start of the second half goal feast and within ten minutes James and Lee had both added second goals to the tally. For the next seven minutes it was 'the Aidan Fortune Show' as he struck with a hat-trick, the third goal a beautifully struck volley from the edge of the box. To complete the rout midfielders Jacob Wroe and Dean Kemp got on the scoresheet with a neat volley and long-range shot respectively.

Overall a convincing win over a limited but spirited opposition.

U12 East: Coulton; Northage, Gray, Maher, Wilson (Wroe); McNamara, Kemp, Bullock, Lowthian (O'Shea); Close (Nishioka), Fortune.

Under 11's

Local Derby Victory

Excellent victory in windy conditions for the Under 11's East against local rivals Harvesters Nth. Dominating performance to lead 2-0 at half-time.Wind against 2nd half proved what a good side we are by finally winning 4-1.

Alex G & Ashley T, 2 goals each. Man of Match Harry K.

What a result

St Albans City Youth Under 11s west beat Borehamwood 2000 9 - 1. Playing their second league cup qualifying match City completely dominated the game. Dominic Oliver opened the scoring after only two minutes then four minutes later Tom Pugh opened his West account with a neat goal. Toby Sakata looked like he would score, constantly weaving in and out of the Borehamwood defence, and on 11 minutes took his goal well. Next a brace from defender Jake Deacon made it 5 - 0. Jack Evans was next to score his first this year and not wanting to miss out Will Jacobs finished of the first half also scoring his opening goal of the season. The second half looked like it would start the way the first had finished. Lewis Baxendine scored after only one minute his first goal for the West. Harvey Scott made it 9 on 40 mins finishing well. Borehamwood did not give up and got a well deserved goal. A great team performance. Chris Hudson was man of the match for his strong work in defence.

 

Under 8's

First match at Highfield Park

Under 8's  4  v  1  Sun Postal

 

In the first ever match played at the new Highfield Park site the City Youth Under 8's did the club proud with a superb 4-1 victory over local rivals Sun Postal.  Shay Emerton scored all four of the Saints goals, which in turn were all setup by Brad "Sniffer" Kelly. 

The half time scoreline was 1-0 to the Saints.  All the lads played very well and a special mention must go to Gus Scott in the centre of defence who was outstanding.

 

Sunday 5th September 2004

Under 18's

 West hit by injuries

An injury-ravaged West opened their league campaign against Leverstock Green with only 10 fully fit players, and finished the game with only 8.  In the circumstances, a 1-2 defeat was a creditable result, but the truth is that West should have won the game comfortably.

Though Kosky made two good saves to thwart Leverstock, West dominated the first half, deservedly leading on 23 mins through a goal scored by Patterson from a Gray corner.  But West were forced to reorganize on 43 minutes, when Hawes injured a knee.  With Ferdinand, also injured, coming off at the break, West defended well in the second half and restricted Leverstock to only a handful of shots on goal.

Though most of West’s attacks were now on the break, the pace of the forwards carved out five excellent chances.  But all were squandered, Jaravaza, James and Patterson shooting wide, and Jaravaza and Patterson each failing to beat the keeper when put through one-on-one. 

Leverstock stole the game in the last 12 minutes, first scoring in the goalmouth scramble when West failed to react after Kosky made a good save at close range.  They then gaining a controversial penalty when the ball was struck hard at Phillipps, on the edge of the area, hitting him on the arm.  The referee was some 60 yards away, decided that the act was deliberate and inside the area.  The smiles on the faces of the Leverstock players told its own story.  Between the two goals, West were reduced to ten men when Bailey limped from the field with a knee injury.

James made an impressive debut, and Phillipps, Anderson and Ferdinand gave brave performances when not fully fit.  In midfield, Clark was tireless and showed real quality in his passing.  But the finishing was woeful.

Team:  Kosky; Bailey, Hawes (Anderson, 43), Rhodes; Patterson, Lattuca, Clark, Gray, James; Jaravaza, Ferdinand (Phillipps, 46)

Under 14's

West' beat Herons away 8-1

‘West’ playing their first league game of the season, was a joy to watch. Completely dominating the first half, the city boys scored 6 goals through, Nick Glasgow (3), Michael Gamble (2) and Daniel Bissill.    

Using 5 subs, the second half started the way the first half finished. ‘West’  went further ahead scoring through Aaron Lumsdon, 7-0. Herons fought back and clawed a goal back, 7-1 to West. This was a ‘wake-up’ call, and ‘West’ went further ahead 8-1, scoring through Ben White. The game saw an excellent hat-trick from Nick Glasgow.
This was an outstanding Squad performance, with the 'Man of the match' going to Michael Gamble, for a powerful display in attack.

‘West’ settles for a 1-1 draw, away to Hertsmere.

‘West’ playing a midweek game, away against (former Division 1) Hertsmere, drew 1-1.

‘West’started this game, looking tired and was struggling to create any goal scoring chances. Hertsmere opened the scoring just before half-time, 1-0 to the home side.

Second half, and ‘West’ woke-up, clawing themselves back into the game, with a gritty performance. The long awaited equaliser came from Aaron Lumsdon, heading in from a Nick Glasgow corner, at the far post.

Now ‘West’ was starting to play some ‘neat and tidy’ football throughout the team.

After creating some excellent chances, the final score ended up 1-1.

‘West’ can look back on this game, with a ‘lack-lustre’ performance in the first half costing them 2 points, although the second half, showed some excellent defending from all of the ‘West’ defence.

The ‘man of the match’ award went to Jamie Peters for an excellent game in Defence.

Under 13's

Wingers cost the North

The under 13’s North first game of the season against Whetstone got off to a bad start when after five minutes Charles Norman ( capt ) came off injured. The first ten minutes of the match was pretty even until the Whetstone right winger crossed the ball into the six yard area. The City defence hesitated and failed to clear and the ball was crashed into the net. Five minutes later the same winger crossed to find an unmarked team mate who glanced a header into the far corner of the net for Whetstones second. City tried to come back and were unlucky with efforts from Elliott Goward and Luke Thatcher.

In the second half, City played much better and seemed to have countered the threat from the speedy Whetstone wingers. Toby Irish was unlucky midway through the second half when his goal bound lob didn’t have quite enough power which allowed the keeper to recover and save the ball right on the line. Had Irish’s effort gone in, City would have been right back in the game but instead, Whetstone almost immediately broke away down the other end of the pitch and scored to make it 3-0. City battled away and with five minutes to go, Toby Irish got his reward for all of his hard work and scored a superb goal from the edge of the penalty box with a right foot shot that flew into the top corner of the net. Final score, 3-1 to Whetstone. Luke Thatcher and Toby Irish both had excellent games and Harry Fountain did tremendously well when he came on as a substitute in his first competitive game for over six and a half months.

Under 12's

Even a pitch invasion cannot stop the 12's East

After a 100% start in their three preseason friendlies St Albans U12 East kept up their winning ways with a hard fought 3-1 victory against Sun Postal Blue in the League Cup.

In an eventful first half which saw a pitch invasion by an irate groundsman, St Albans were the ones to keep their cool on a blistering hot day. The first 20 minutes of the match were evenly poised, James Lowthian nearly opened his season's account when his shot went across the face of the Sun goal, whilst Tom Coulton at the other end plucked the ball out of the air when a goal looked certain. In two glorious minutes the youngsters opened up a two goal lead. A perfect ball from Louis McNamara into the right hand corner found Lee Close, who then fired in a first time cross to the edge of the box. This was hit on the half-volley by Jacob Wroe making a late run, into the corner of the goal - a great way to mark his 100th appearance! Things got better when Lee slotted the second past the advancing keeper after a defence splitting ball from Max O'Shea. The second half started brightly and within three minutes Lee added his second and the team's third after a neat lay-off from Aidan Fortune. Following a foot injury the defence was reorganised but with 10 minutes left Sun finally broke their duck to pull a goal back. In the closing minutes City pressed forward, shots from Dean Kemp and Goro Nishioka were well saved and St Albans were unlucky not to add to their goal tally.

In a day when the back four including Eddie Gray, Will Northage and Ryan Maher were outstanding, the Man of the Match award goes to left back Mark Wilson who never stopped running and frustrated the dangerous Sun winger the whole match.

 

U12 East: Coulton; Wilson, Gray, Maher, Northage; McNamara, Wroe, O'Shea, Lowthian; Nishioka, Close. Figg, Fortune, Kemp.

Early days

West's first game of the season started brightly enough with 15 minutes of end to end play. Richard Cook on the left and new signing Scott Howlett on the right worked really hard and caused the opposition lots of problems.  West were then caught twice in quick succession ball watching and found themselves two behind.  However, never a team to give up Carl Biggs slotted a lovely through ball to Jamie Heaffey on the half way line who ran the ball into Alex Park box to slot past the keeper in fine style.  For the rest of the first half West had their best period but couldn’t score.  Things could have been very different when Carl was unlucky not to level the score shortly into the second half, where an excellent run found him one on one with the keeper.  West showed great attitude and kept battling but despite some fine saves from goalkeepers Matt Peckham and Joe Murtagh in the second half, West conceded 4 in all.  Man of the match was Myles Smith for some very good work in defence.  

Under 11's

11's West have a great result

St Albans City Youth u11s West beat Oxhey United 6 -3 in their first competitive 11-a-side game. Both teams started well with Oxhey getting the first goal of the match after 12 mins. The defence of Captain James Pellington, Jake Deacon, Chris Hudson and Alistair Sandiford had been playing well and were unlucky to be beaten. Harvey Scott soon drew the young Saints level and Toby Sakata broke through only to be brought down in the box. Ben Lee the goal keeper stepped up to take the penalty and put City ahead. Only a couple of minutes later Laurence Blow put in a great cross which came of an Oxhey defender making it 3 - 1. The young Saints looked like they were in control then out of nowhere  just before half time Oxhey pulled a goal back, finishing the half  3 - 2. The second half started with a lot of pressure from Oxhey who were unlucky not to equalise Dominic Oliver did some good work in midfield and Harvey broke free and scored his second. Ben Attewell did some superb defending and Lewis Baxendine worked hard on the right wing. The crossbar denied Tom Pugh from scoring with a well taken header followed amazingly by two more rebounds of the crossbar and a mad scramble that could not force the ball over the line. Shortly afterwards Oxhey scored again 4 - 3 and looked ready to stage a comeback. Toby Sakata pulled off a great save and then City fought back. Harvey completed his Hat trick on 52 mins then made it four on 55. A great first match. Well played everyone. Man of the match has to go to Harvey Scott. 

Under 10's

Dogged win

Last season's West Herts triple winners St Albans City East, kicked off their U10 Watford friendly league campaign with a dogged 1-0 win against a talented Aldenham Pumas team. Right winger Cormac O'Regan got the only goal at the end of the first half when the opposition keeper was unable to keep his long range shot out of the top of the net, whilst Hal Maher, Daniel Rosson, Oliver Marjarom and Matt Taylor on his debut went close to scoring. In defence Dominic Watkins and Laurence Wroe tackled and ran like demons, whilst keeper Will Crafts had a solid performance in goal.

 

Sunday 29th August 2004

Under 18's 

U18 West  1   Colney Heath Youth  0

Patterson, 62

A young Colney Heath team put up a good performance in this friendly match against City, coming close to opening the scoring in the 10th minute when Miller struck the post, and forcing two good saves from an agile David Kosky.  Ferdinand then went close at the other end, before Jaravaza collided with the Colney Heath ‘keeper.  He left the field, to be replaced by City old boy Winston Seidu. 

In the second period City changed formation to combat Heath’s five-man midfield, and now dominated the game.  Clark, James and Jaravaza all brought fine saves from Seidu, before Patterson poked home a Gray corner to give City a deserved lead.  Liam Smith, having a fine debut, headed over from a James corner, and did well to make space in the box before firing into the side-netting.  Another debutant, Tom Lock, came on in the second half, playing very solidly in the centre of midfield.

Team:  Kosky; Bailey, Hawes, Smith, Anderson (Pienaar); Patterson, Lattuca (Lock), Clark, Gray (James); Jaravaza, Ferdinand

Under 12's

 

St Albans City Youth U12 East 4 Newport Pagnell  U13 0
Close 3
McNamara

St Albans U12 East took advantage of their hosts generosity to record an impressive 4-0 win against Newport Pagnell Youth U13s, despite a difficult pitch.

Sporting a new look defence of Will Northage and debutants Brodie Hollis and George Bullock, shielded by Dean Kemp in a holding midfield role, St Albans quickly took a two goal lead with only 5 minutes gone on the clock. First Lee Close latched on to a Louis McNamara through-ball to slot it left-footed past the keeper, then Lee followed up keeper Tom Coulton's upfield punt to outpace the opposition centrebacks for the second. With the City goal beckoning Tom Coulton pulled off two spectacular diving saves to keep the older boys at bay before Lee completed his hat-trick after a pinpoint James Lowthian pass. Just before half-time good work by Goro Nishioka and Mark Wilson on the left, saw the scotsman's shot go just wide of the post.

In the second half the hard working duo of Max O'Shea and Jacob Wroe both had shots blocked by the keeper but Louis McNamara broke the second half deadlock when his shot rebounded off the bar only for the hometeam linesman to rule that it had bounced over the line much to the surprise of both teams players and supporters. With the win never in doubt St Albans played some good football and went close with further efforts from Goro, Max and Jacob whilst at the other end an assured display by Coulton ensured a well-deserved cleansheet.

U12 East: Coulton; Bullock, Hollis, Northage; McNamara (Wilson), Wroe (capt.), Kemp, O'Shea, Lowthian; Close, Nishioka.  

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