Vanarama National League South
St Albans City 2
Concord Rangers 2
Concord Rangers snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat on Saturday after a tough away game at St Albans City
Back on the site of their memorable victory that put the club in the FA Cup First Round for the first time last season, the Beachboys started quickly and looked to get on the scoresheet early. A cross whipped in from the right was met with a glancing touch from Steve Cawley, but this touch took the ball just out of reach of Alex Osborn, making his first start in Concord colours.
After this though, the Beachboys attack seemed to falter, as each time they went forward and got near the box the forward play ultimately came to nothing.
The hosts weren’t offering too much going forward either, showing why they are in the league position they find themselves in. However they did have a long throw in their arsenal, which they made the most of as the game hit 30 minutes.
The ball sailed into the crowded penalty area and fell to Ed Oshodi, (a familiar face for Concord as he’s been sent off against them at least 2 times previous when playing for Hemel Hempstead). An area of space opened up around him which allowed Oshodi to turn and slide the ball past Ben McNamara in the Beachboys goal.
The second half started with the hosts creating more chances, clearly fired up by their new manager and the fact they were leading. Concord were still struggling to get anything going in the game, and the task got even harder on 52 minutes as Thalassitis (who just 2 weeks earlier had left Concord for the Saints) latched on to a through-ball and found the bottom corner of the Concord Rangers net.
A third St Albans City goal looked to have killed the game off, but the referee ruled it out for handball, was this the stroke of luck Concord needed to get back into the game?
It certainly seemed like it, as the Beachboys began to exert some pressure on the Saints back line, suddenly creating chances which were almost non existent until that time. And on 79 minutes the breakthrough came as James White put a searching ball into the box and Steve Cawley rose highest to loop a header in over the Saints keeper.
The comeback was complete on 89 minutes as Sam Bantick was the last to touch a goal bound effort from Steve Cawley after what had been an impressive spell of pressure for Concord. Was Banno offside when he got that touch on the ball? Probably, but that didnt matter to the travelling faithful who understandably celebrated like it was a victory!
After what had looked like a game destined for disappointment at 2-0 down, Concord Rangers pulled off a superb comeback and continued their unbeaten run, ruining Ian Allinsons first game in charge of St Albans City
Man of the Match – Steve Cawley
Match Report by Alan Jessup-Peacock