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St Albans City vs Taunton Town


Date Time League Season Match Day Full Time
February 10, 2024 3:00 pm National League South 2023/24 10/02/2024 90'


St Albans City6
Taunton Town0



My pre-match premonition of a 6-0 drubbing was brutally enacted for real at Clarence Park as City swept aside the Peacocks with a confidence befitting a team on a run of one defeat in eleven. To be honest had Taunton fielded the same side that had snatched a late winner to beat the Saints in the earlier fixture in August then they would have faced a stiff task but with the well-documented personnel changes since then the current Town side were no match on the day.

As if the current flimsiness of the squad wasn’t of enough concern, Town were without Ollie Chamberlain, recovering from the effects of an X-rated tackle against Truro, and Zac Smith who was away while Nat Jarvis was named as a substitute despite carrying a knock. Down to the bare bones, the visitors made the worst possible start. Mitchell Weiss’ pass came off the head of Cameron Evans and fell to City’s leading scorer Shaun Jeffers who dinked his finish past Dan Lavercombe after just four minutes. Initial hopes that the goal wouldn’t count with an assistant’s flag being raised for offside were soon extinguished following a brief consultation.

The home side maintained their early dominance with Jack James getting on the end of Aidan Francis-Clarke’s cross to see his far post shot blocked before the Peacocks won their first corner following good work by Zac Bell. The flag kick came to nothing, and St Albans resumed their offensive, a slick move ending with Lavercombe claiming a driven James cross. The second goal duly arrived after 14 minutes, James again finding room on the right to centre for Jeffers to notch his second of the afternoon from close range.

Two behind inside the opening quarter hour, Town managed to partially stabilise and penetrate the hosts’ area. An Evans’ header on the run from Lloyd James’ free kick proved an easy hold for City keeper Michael Johnson while some sloppy home defending allowed Ross Stearn to collect, round the Saints’ keeper on the right and lay across for Rabby Tabu Minzamba whose effort hit a defender.

Those were in reality token gestures from Town who were playing second fiddle to a City team comfortable in possession and capable of upping a gear at short notice with some crisp passing dissecting the Town defence with only the final ball lacking, one such instance coming when Ben Smith found James out wide and his low cross was claimed by Lavercombe who then had to be quick off his line to foil the incoming Jeffers as he tried to reach Zane Banton’s knock through. Conversely whenever City had the odd lapse at the back the visitors were unable to take advantage. Marley Rose, making his first start for the Peacocks, picked up a poor pass from home defender Michael Clark and had a clear run at goal. However a heavy touch saw the ball overrun to Johnson and the opportunity had gone. To kick dirt in Town’s eye, the hosts then added a third a minute before the break to kill the game. Giorgio Rasulo found it rather too easy to plough forward, moving the ball from right to left across the edge of the box to find Banton and his shot took a deflection to pick out the bottom corner of the net.

When the brow-beaten Peacocks emerged for the second half Marcus Day had replaced captain Nick Grimes who retired after tweaking his hamstring and for the opening quarter hour or so the contest almost became a training routine for the hosts who played it around without threatening. Town did manage to carve out an opening when Stearn got in behind, but Johnson was equal to his effort to block with his leg although an offside flag meant it wouldn’t have counted anyway. City finally raised the tempo just before the hour when Jeffers’ ball into Rasulo on the left side of the box saw the latter take a touch and see his angled drive touched over by Lavercombe. Weiss then fired over when he connected with a Jeffers cross before the hosts added a fourth on 69 minutes. George Hoddle, on a season-long loan from Cambridge United and second cousin of former England manager Glenn who was among the crowd, was brought down by Evans and despite Lavercombe’s brave attempt to keep it out Jeffers’ penalty had just about enough to find the corner and secure him his hat trick.

Evander Grubb replaced Stearn with just under twenty minutes to go and the new introduction soon had Town’s only real chance of the half. Bell’s cross was headed out for a corner from which Louie Slough flicked on to find Day and his pass put Grubb clear on the left but his attempt from the angle was blocked by Johnson at his near post. City substitute Ibby Akanbi then conspired to add further misery for the Peacocks during the final minutes. After having a goal disallowed for offside, his cross from the left was diverted into his own goal by Town centre half Dan Ball with three minutes remaining and then fellow sub Jake Burger clipped a deft pass through for Akanbi who slotted home past Lavercombe to complete the half dozen a minute from full time.

A painful afternoon for the Peacocks then as their winless run extends to 11 games and it is hard to see the situation getting better until various off-field issues are resolved.


Taunton: Dan Lavercombe, Zac Bell, Nick Grimes (captain) (Marcus Day 45), Dan Ball, Lloyd James, Rabby Tabu Minzamba, Ross Stearn (Evander Grubb 71) , Cameron Evans, Callum Dolman, Marley Rose, Louie Slough. Unused sub: Nat Jarvis

St Albans: Michael Johnson, Jack James, Ben Smith, Dan Bowry, Michael Clark, Giorgio Rasulo, Shaun Jeffers (captain) (Ibby Akanbi 71), Zane Banton (Harun Hamid 61), Mitchell Weiss (Jake Burger 61) , Aidan Francis-Clarke, George Hoddle. Unused subs: Sam Brown, Ryan Blackman


Referee: Isaac Searle (Dover)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Louis Dawson (Ipswich)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Benjamin McDonald (Sevenoaks)




“Sometimes you’ve got to take a beating, today we took a beating………..” watch Rob Dray’s match reaction on Peacocks TV HERE


Match highlights courtesy of St Albans City FC can be seen HERE


Match photos from Club Photographers Debbie Gould can be viewed HERE and Darren Harris HERE

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance MOM

Marley Rose was named Taunton Town Man Of The Match, photo to follow