Elliot Milner – @EJMOfficial1
One of the most casual games of football I have ever watched: the first half felt like a friendly. St Albans never really looked up for it, with the grand total of 11 supporters coming down (even though I counted 12).
We were very energetic to begin with as we pressed their defence. Keating marched down the right wing and squared an inch perfect pass to Reid who placed it calmly into the bottom left corner. Then 3 minutes later, due to calamitous Torquay defending, we were unable to clear the ball from a long throw. It fell to Kamdjo, who scored an electric first time volley in the top right corner. It looked as if we were going to have a repeat of Billericay, as the defence had not switched on yet. However, we kept the energy up and 4 minutes later Liam Davis whipped in a dangerous ball into the box. The defender Bender was unable to clear, which resulted in him heading the ball into his own net. We then took the game by the throat and never looked like letting go, keeping a high work rate through the midfield and into the attack.
There were a few chances in the latter stages of the first half, that we really should have capitalized on. An in swinging corner from Andrews took the keeper by surprise, who flapped the ball into danger. Sadly, it was headed out for a corner by a Saints defender. Several crosses from the right wing were dangerously delivered as well, but they were unable to find a man. Connor Lemonheigh- Evans and Jake Andrews were running the show in midfield even though the back 4 still looked complacent. The boys went in at half time with high spirits, knowing they could be 3 or 4-1 up.
It was a bit of a slow start for the Gulls in the first 5 minutes of the second half, not really showing the same tenacity as the first. The defence, especially Kyle Cameron, still looked very much discombobulated by the mere fact that there was a match being played. In the 58th minute, Niate drove a long ball out wide to Kalvin Lumbombo – Kalala who then went on a mazy dribble, astonishingly keeping possession of the ball. He then laid it off to Reid who sweetly finessed the ball into the bottom right hand corner from outside the box. The Popside started screaming “Reidy, Reidy, Reidy…” which gave him a boost of confidence going into the last 30 minutes. Just a minute later and Saikou Janneh cut inside the box and played a ball into Jake Andrews who put 110% effort into reaching it. He then proceeded to slot it past Dean Snedker, the St Albans keeper. After that, we created more chances, but just could not find the back of the net. Janneh came ever close from a through ball and the keeper saved a 1 on 1 chip. The referee blew the final whistle knowing that we had dominated the game outright.
Shaun MacDonald: 6 – Didn’t have much to do. Even though I love his raw passion, he comes too far out of goal too often.
Ben Wynter: 5.5 – Lots of misplaced passes. He is getting better, but still the weakest in the starting 11.
Jean-Yves Koue Niate: 7 – Looked solid all game. A couple of dodgy moments here and there but that is what you get from a 6”5 defender.
Kyle Cameron: 6 – Didn’t have a lot to do. Missed a couple opportunities at corners.
Liam Davis: 7 – Does what he always does. Consistent and dangerous down that left wing.
Ruairi Keating: 7.5 – Outstanding work effort as per usual. Unlucky not to get a goal, plus great vision for the assist on the first goal.
Connor Lemonheigh- Evans: 8.5 – Technically are most skilled player. Great attitude and ran the game with Andrews. Not much more to say
Jake Andrews: 8.5 – Happy to see him get a goal. Worked his socks off and great to see him taking set pieces, as they were much more dangerous than Saturday.
Jamie Reid: 9 – Worked hard and showed confidence. Two great finishes that he would not have been doing 3 months ago.
Kalvin Lumbombo – Kalala: 7 – Played well. A very good dribble and assist for the third goal. However, takes too long trying to get the ball into the box
Saikou Janneh: 6.5 – He had the effort but was offside too many times. I know that will come with experience, but definitely did not show his goal scoring prowess today
Brett Williams: 5 – Touched the ball maybe 3 times.
Jamie Sendles-White: 5 – Cleared the ball twice.
Man of the Match:
Jamie Reid. He looked like he wanted it tonight, showing that ambition and confidence that gets him goals. I have said in previous reports he feeds off confidence, and you can bet because of that he will score on Saturday.
Jake Andrews. Clear to see why he is signed up to Bristol City, great play controlling the midfield and did fantastically on set pieces. Niate also deserves a shout being solid at the back and didn’t look like he switched off either.
Johnson knows what he is doing and has more experience than Patrick at making redraws. Got it spot on tonight on how to break them down. Despite that, he needs to make tell the defence to not switch off as we would have got a clean sheet. A traditional 4-4-2 that works wonders in this league. I like that he plays Keating out on the wing as he is more dangerous there, and can cover for fragile Wynter.
There was not much excitement from the St Albans camp. I was surprised how far up the table they were before heading into the match but it was a long trip on a Tuesday night. So I will give them the benefit of the doubt and see what they truly are like when the Yellows go up to North London.
Was very timid, thought too much of himself and kept trying to call people over for a “word” which made absolutely no difference. He was blowing after 20 minutes so I wonder how he will be feeling the next morning.
When Bender headed it into his own net. Not only was the scorer of the own goal funny, but the way he turned the game round from that moment and we went on full throttle.
Liam Davis. The most consistent player we have, and lucky to have to be totally honest. Plus he works hard every game. I felt like we should pay attention to him as his work does go unnoticed most of the time
I think that it is going to be tough the rest of the season, however games like that give us the hope that maybe we may have the chance for automatic promotion. I would expect us to just be lower in fourth but we will see. A generally stable performance with no real concerns and we will roll on to Saturday where hopefully we can grab the 3 points once again.