St Albans City were knocked out of the FA Cup last night in the final qualifying round at the hands of fellow Hertfordshire-based side Bishop’s Stortford FC away from home, in a game that was broadcasted live on BT Sport.
Despite starting the season brightly and going into the tie as favourites, St Albans found themselves two goals behind inside 15 minutes, and never really looked like recovering.
First choice goalkeeper Michael Johnson failed a late fitness test, meaning stand-in goalkeeper Richards Matrevics had to fill in and he unfortunately made an error after just three minutes, which allowed Darren Foxley to get an early lead for the Blues.
Aaron Greene doubled Bishop’s Stortford’s lead not long after with a low shot deceiving the debutant goalkeeper Matrevics and giving the Saints a big mountain to climb.
Shaun Jeffers had two half chances to pull a goal back for the Saints before half time, but both efforts were wasted and easily gathered by the home side’s goalkeeper.
Bishop’s Stortford started the second half brightly and almost added a third goal to put the game beyond any doubt, but Jack Thomas’ effort fired over the crossbar.
The home side did well to manage the game and even looked the more likely to score the third goal, and Correy Davidson really should have late on after Sam Mvemba created an opportunity for him, but Matrevics saved at his near post.
The Blues held on in the end to qualify for the FA Cup First Round for the first time in seven years, leaving the Saints knocked out in what will now be seen as a wasted opportunity to qualify for the main tournament.
The Saints will hope to bounce back against Chippenham Town at home on Saturday and continue what has been a positive start in the National League South.
Picture credit: Nathan Cracknell/Bishop’s Stortford FC