Match report: St Albans City 1 Stevenage 1

Chris Day

Chris Day - Credit: Archant

Chris Day, Simon Walton and Ryan Johnson among the Boro players in action

Stevenage ended their pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw at Vanarama Conference South side St Albans City on Monday evening.

James Comley, City captain for the night, gave the hosts a deserved lead in the second half with the coolest of finishes but they were pegged back by Dale Gorman and the game ended all square.

Boro brought a very young side that featured four trialists and only three first team players to Clarence Park for both teams’ final pre-season game

St Albans, on the other hand, fielded a strong team that could resemble Saturday’s starting line-up in their first match following promotion with Warren McBean and Elliot Buchanan leading the line in front of Comley, Sam Corcoran, Danny Green and Steve Wales.

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James Kaloczi was in for the absent Ben Martin and started alongside Tom Ward at the back with Lee Chappell and John Kyriacou in a full-back.

The home side had the better of the opening exchanges, presenting chances to McBean and Buchanan, but they couldn’t apply a scoring touch. At the other end, Joe Welch, once on loan at Boro from Histon, punched clear confidently after a teasing ball into the box from George Casey.

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Boro showed their inexperience and failed to craft any chances of note, the only time they looked like threatening Welch was from set plays but each time City were able to clear their lines without alarm.

City had their chances, Comley the architect of most of them, but they never really troubled Chris Day in Boro’s goal as the half ended goalless.

Elliot Bailey made is first appearance for the first-team in pre-season when he was introduced to the game in place of Buchanan, who failed to make much of an impact on the game.

Bailey made his presence felt instantly as he was involved in the opening goal. He won the ball, laid it off to Wales who played an inch perfect ball to Kyricou. The full-back whipped in a low cross to Comley who took a touch and stroked it through a crowd of players and past Day.

City made wholesale changes following the goal with Matt Taylor, Taylor Miles, Howard Hall, David Keenleyside, Lee Clarke and Kayode Bola coming on.

One almost became two when Chappell drove the ball low into the box but Day got lucky with a deflection and was able to pounce on the ball.

At the other end, Welch was forced into a diving save to deny one of Boro’s four trialists.

The equaliser did come five minutes later as Gorman found space on the edge of the box and drove the ball into the bottom corner.

Bailey was at the centre of another City move in the 70th minute as he showcased the work he has put in during pre-season by holding off the defender and setting up Taylor who poked wide under pressure from Day.

The rest of the game was all St Albans as Boro failed to impress. Even with the changes, City kept their momentum up and put Day under pressure.

Taylor came closest, sliding the ball just the wrong side of the post, from the corner but a second goal never materialised.

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