Stalemate at Clarence Park
Crusaders hold St Albans to goaless draw
A win would have sent the Saints clear at the top of the table, but although they had more of the play and more shots on goal, we produced a terrific display of grit, determination, and organisation to earn a point to leave the home side in a three-way tie for the league leadership, it can hardly ever been closer at the top !
It was a blustery day as Storm Brian swept the country, but Clarence Park is well-sheltered and there were no problems as long as the ball was kept fairly low, and the home side were soon on the attack although Dean Stedker saved well from a Paul Stonehouse effort following a corner.
At the other end, Lewis Ward saved well at the expense of a couple of corners, before we eventually got the ball away, Nicholas Bignall turning the ball back to Jordan Simpson, who shot high and wide, while Stefan Brown was also off target with another effort.
Meanwhile, the home side were even closer with a shot that hit the bar, but we reached the interval with the game still goalless.
The game continued in the same vein after half-time, with the home side doing most of the pressing, but our defence stood firm with Lewis Ward looking unbeatable, and we looked dangerous when we did break out but the offside flag denied us when we looked like defying the odds and punishing the home side.
Luke Hopper and Richie Whittingham came on for Bignall and Soares, having started with the side which won so convincingly at Whitehawk, but St.Albans went nearest through Rhys Murrell-Williamson as we saw out the 90 minutes to gain a hard-earned point. It had been a great effort.
Team; Lewis Ward, Rhys Tyler, Diak John, Paul Stonehouse, Gareth Thomas, James Rusby, James Clark, Jordan Simpson, Stefan Brown, Nicholas Bignall(Luke Hopper), Louie Soares(Richie Whittingham)
Subs; Matt Partridge, Ian Herring, Marcus Beauchamp