Vanarama Conference South 21st February 2015
Whitehawk FC 2 – 1 St Albans City FC
Shots on: 7-3, Shots off: 4-2, Corners: 1-3, Fouls Committed: 11-19, Offside: 6-1, Yellow Cards: 0-2, Red Cards: 0-0.
Report by Anthony Scott
Play Off contenders Whitehawk made it twelve home games unbeaten after overcoming mid-table St. Albans at The Enclosed Ground.
That run has seen eleven out of the twelve matches won by Steve King’s men, a run which continued after first half goals from Danny Mills and Scott Neilson proved enough to give the hosts a 2-1 win.
Omar Beckles had drawn the visitors level six minutes before the break, cancelling out Mills’ early effort but only for the Hawks to regain the lead before half time through Neilson.
“I thought we were decent first half, and should have scored a couple of more goals,” said Steve King after the game.
“We played good football at times in the first half, but second half the pitch caught up with us – it was cutting up more and more and made it difficult to play the football we want to. We have picked up three points without being at our best.”
A positive start from the hosts resulted in the game’s opening goal inside five minutes. Lee Hills whipped in a free kick from the left, and City failed to get the ball away and Mills reacted first to slam the ball in from twelve yards.
Neilson, making his first start since joining from Grimsby last week, looked lively with the ball at his feet and tested Joe Welch with a low drive, before Welch produced a good save to deny Nick Arnold from doubling the hosts’ advantage.
Sam Gargan was then denied by the goalkeeper who saved well at his near post, before St. Albans equalised with a rare attack on goal. A long free kick into the area looked likely to be headed away by Gargan, but only for a nudge in the back to allow the ball to find Beckles at the far post, and he beat the advancing Craig Ross to the ball to head in.
However, the hosts didn’t have to wait long to go back in front after Neilson’s ball in was fumbled by keeper Welch, and the loose ball fell to Osei Sankofa. The centre half laid the ball back across to Neilson, who hit a great first-time drive that beat Welch at his near post to find the net.
Chances were at a premium in an uneventful second half, with what proved to be the best chance of the period falling to the visitors. Lee Chappell swung the ball in from the left and found the run of James Kaloczi, but heading the ball back across goal, failed to hit the target by the finest of margins.
“I thought we gave two sloppy goals away and that has undone us in the end. I am a bit disappointed we didn’t get something out of the game,” said City Joint-Manager James Gray.