This Saturday Wood make the short trip to Clarence Park, looking to complete the double over our nearest rivals. It was a real local derby atmosphere both on and off the field at Meadow Park in our narrow 2-1 win earlier this season and more of the same is expected.
The Saints currently sit 10th in the table, just seven points off the play off places. It is no surprise they have settled well since their promotion from the Southern League Premier Division last season, given their recent pedigree. Winning the last available spot in the newly formed Conference South via the play offs back in 2004, they grasped the opportunity to play at a higher level with both hands, winning promotion to the Conference Premier two years later, albeit for just one season.
City’s involvement in the Conference set up ended our regular battles in the Ryman Premier, until we met up again albeit briefly in season 2010-2011, our first at this level. The first “ reunion” was on New Year’s Day when Inih Effiong, then of City, scored a brace in a 0-3 win that saw the two sides swap places at the foot of the table!
However we did manage a 0-1 win at Clarence Park later in the season, which played a part in us clawing our way to safety, with The Saints unfortunately dropping down a Division at the end of that season. Prior to that game we were last there twice in 2004, in County Cup action.
One of those occasions back in January 2004 was a truly unforgettable night. Playing against a side a Division above us we eventually ran out 4-5 winners after extra time, having played the last hour with ten men, after the late Ryan Moran’s dismissal. That game was significantly Ian Allinson’s first ever win as Manager of the club!
The other match, “a pre season” Herts Charity cup game in August of that year resulted in a 2-3 win for The Wood and also featured the debut of one Ben Martin for City, a player who will be returning to his old club for the first time since joining Wood last month. He played 212 times for City during two spells at Clarence Park.
Back to this season and City have lost just one of their last five League matches at home, notably beating Gosport Borough 2-1 last Sunday.
Wood have just one match scheduled in the next fortnight, away at Stevenage in the Herts Senior Cup next Tuesday, making this a game requiring an extra effort from the fans to give the side their support in searching for a massive three points to stay in touch at the top of the table!
We hope to see as many of you as possible on Saturday!
St Albans City v Boreham Wood. Saturday January 10th, kick off 3pm.
Clarence Park, York Road, St Albans. AL1 4PL.