In welcoming St Albans City to Longmead on Saturday 16th November we shall see the other side in the National League South relegation zone. Like ourselves, St Albans will not have played a league game for two weeks. Unlike us their lack of game action last week was due to opponents' cup involvement rather than the weather, so they didn't have anything like a six hour wasted round trip that we enjoyed last Saturday. Their last game was on 5th November when they came from behind to beat Bishop's Stortford in the Herts Senior Cup 3-1.
St Albans are one point and one place above us with 13 points from their 16 games. However two of St Albans three wins this season have come away from home. Three weeks ago, in their last away game, they won 1-0 away to Welling thanks to Albert Adu's second goal of the season, and in early September they won 2-1 at Hungerford. They've also beaten Worthing in an FA Cup replay and have drawn league games at Dartford and Slough. By way of a contrast it's been at their own Clarence Park where they've struggled. They've been waiting since August Bank Holiday Monday since their last points at home, that's five home defeats in a row in National League South.
Like ourselves, they have made some changes to their squad in recent weeks, perhaps most significantly for us one that means an early return to Longmead for midfielder Tommy Brewer, who started the season as a Tonbridge player and faces his former team-mates just eight weeks after leaving us.
This is the first ever league meeting between the two clubs and only the fourth time we've met in our history. The three previous meetings all came in an eight week spell in season 2013/14 when we managed to get knocked out of both the FA Cup and the FA Trophy by St Albans. In the FA Cup third qualifying round we were drawn away and lost 2-1. John Frendo gave St Albans the lead, Mark Lovell levelled just before the break, only for Mark Nwokeji to grab the winner on 75 minutes.
Then we were given home advantage when we were drawn together in the FA Trophy. Failing to take advantage of one of the earliest red cards this ground has ever seen to St Albans' Richard Graham, the game ended 0-0, but on a depressing night we lost the replay 4-0 thanks to goals from James Comley, Mark Nwokeji, Howard Hall and Chris Henry.