Match Report

St Albans 1 Town 1


Joe Leesley's 93rd minute equaliser ensures Town remain in the FA Trophy and will welcome St Albans to The CNG Stadium on Tuesday night.

Town had the better of the early action with Jordan Thewlis almost converting Leesley’s cross, but the hosts soon found their stride and began to test the Harrogate goal.

St Albans took the lead in the 66th minute when Tom Bender climbed highest to head into the bottom left corner  from a set piece, and looked good value for their lead.

With almost the last kick of the game, substitute Dom Knowles held the ball up and was able to tee up Leesley who gladly accepted the invitation to smash home and send the tie to a replay.
Simon Weaver made four changes from Tuesday night’s trip to Nuneaton as Ryan Fallowfield, Lloyd Kerry, Toby Lees and Simon Ainge replaced Jack Vann, Josh Falkingham, Ben Parker and Mark Beck.
Louie Swain was first to go close for Town, driving forward from left back in the opening ten minutes and shooting just wide of the right post.
Ten minutes later Jordan Thewlis had the chance to put his side ahead after Joe Leesley’s accurate cross, but judged his header wrong and let St Albans off the hook.
Despite the early chances falling Town’s way, the hosts forced James Belshaw into a save just before the half hour mark as the stopper sprung to his left to deny Rhys Murrell-Williamson.
The hosts’ number 11 threatened again seven minutes before the interval cutting inside and sending a fierce low shot past the far post.
The half ended on a sour note for Weaver’s side, who had already withdrawn Swain due to injury earlier in the half, as Belshaw signalled he was unable to continue and was quickly replaced by Joe Cracknell.
Morrell-Williamson threatened again early in the second half, cutting inside on his left foot and firing just wide of the upright.
The hosts were enjoying the lions’ share of possession and though Town had dealt with everything thrown at them so far, the resilience was broken in the 66th minute as Bender nodded a corner into the bottom left corner.
Town instantly looked for a response and almost levelled eight minutes later when Ainge’s flick released Thewlis through on goal, only for a last ditch block to keep the forward’s finish out.
Despite their lead, The Saints continued to apply pressure in the closing minutes and almost put the tie to bed through David Noble’s well hit drive, but Cracknell was equal to the attempt.

With almost the last kick of the game, substitute Knowles held the ball up and was able to tee up Leesley who gladly accepted the invitation to smash home and send the tie to a replay.
Harrogate Town: Belshaw (Cracknell 41), Fallowfield, Swain (Vann 32), Agnew (Knowles 79), Kennedy, Lees, Thewlis, Emmett, Ainge, Kerry, Leesley
Subs not used: Thomson, Beck

Goals: Leesley 93 

Booked: Fallowfield
St Albans: Snedker, Herd, Bender, Noble, Moore-Azille, Kiangebeni, Eadie (Lucien 57), Sambou, Bradbury (Walker 57), Monlouis, Murrell-Williamson
Subs not used: Joseph, Gardiner, Hippolyte-Patrick
Goals: Bender 66
Booked: Kiangebeni
Referee: C Pollard
Attendance: 634
Match Result
St Albans City
St Albans City
Bender 66
Leesley 90+3
Clarence Park
3:00PM Saturday 13 January 2018
Attendance 634
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