The top two teams of the Allied Counties U18 East Division met on Wednesday 11 April and in a thrilling encounter it was Champions Elect, St Albans City who beat Uxbridge by two goals to one.
Uxbridge had a lot to prove in this match after losing the first encounter at Clarence Park 3-0, and from the kick-off they didn’t give City any time to settle on the ball. Elliot Bailey had an excellent chance to open the scoring on 8 minutes, but once through on goal his weak shot went straight at the keeper. It was the home side who took the lead in the 17th minute following a freekick which was needlessly given away by centreback Laurence Wroe on the touchline. The resulting inswinging corner turned into a ‘six yard box scramble’ with Uxbridge’s Mitchell Wiseman finally bundling the ball past Warren Bell in goal, through a sea of City legs. The lead was to last less than 10 minutes though, again resulting from another freekick after Matt Taylor had been fouled – not for the first time that night! James Shaw delivered the ball into the Uxbridge box which Taylor calmly chested down to Tremayne Charles. The deflected shot came to Wroe who made amends with a controlled volley which zipped low past the keeper. Despite further goal attempts from Ken Ogbuagu and Matt Taylor the first half scoreline remained at one apiece.
In the second period both teams looked to attack at every opportunity, but with both defences in the ascendency it was to be a dramatic 30 seconds on 77 minutes which decided the game. First a good Uxbridge cross from the left hand side was headed on to City’s bar but a quick counterattack out of defence by Wroe and Joe Zazzera got the ball into the centre of the pitch. City’s flying substitute Jamalle Parke-Jude received the ball and with one touch put fellow replacement wingman Gio Lee-Baptiste away on the left, once into the box he crashed an unstoppable shot into the top right hand corner of the net. Uxbridge attacked until the end but it was the young Saints in an overall impressive display who came away with yet another 3 points. Their lead at the top of the division is now 10 points, with just an away league fixture against Marlow on 25 April and a home Challenge Shield semi-final to come this season.
City: Warren Bell; Joe Zazzera, Laurence Wroe, Josh Davies, Myles Scott; Harry Carr, James Shaw (Gio Lee-Baptiste 70), Matt Taylor (James Kaloczi 79); Elliot Bailey, Ken Ogbuagu (Gio Lee-Baptiste 63), Tremayne Charles.
Uxbridge - Mitchell Wiseman (17),
City - Laurence Wroe (25), Gio Lee-Baptiste (77)
Ref: Mike Heavey