St Albans City FC have started off their Vanarama National League South campaign with a victory and a clean sheet against Hampton and Richmond Borough at Clarence Park.
A second half goal from Solomon Nwabuokei proved to be enough for the Saints to take all three points from the game.
The match, which was played behind closed doors, started off with both sides having their fair share of chances, with Nwabuokei shooting wide for St Albans, and Hampton’s Ryan Hill delivered in a great cross that was begging to be reached, but no one could do so.
The away side started to control the first half and good defending kept the game all square, however the Saints did show signs of improving just before the half time interval.
St Albans improved further in the second half, with Zane Banton looking to continue his goalscoring form from the weekend’s FA Cup tie, but his long-range effort was dealt with.
The first goal finally came on the 68th minute after a free kick was parried by the Hampton goalkeeper, which allowed Nwabuokei to score the rebound.
Mitchell Weiss almost doubled the Saints lead five minutes from time after a good run down the wing, but again Julian denied him.
Hampton and Richmond were down to 10-men in the dying stages of the game after Tyrell Miller-Rodney was given his marching orders for a bad challenge on goal scorer Nwabuokei.
St Albans City held on for all three points in the opening game of the league campaign, and manager Ian Allinson will be delighted that his side managed to keep a clean sheet as well as the victory.
It’s a busy schedule for the Saints but with two victories in their first two competitive games, they will be quietly confident of a positive season after being too close to the bottom of the table for most of the last campaign.
Next up for Allinson’s men is an away trip to Concord Rangers on Saturday, before the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round at home against Mickleover Sports on Tuesday, October 13.
Picture credit: St Albans City FC