Featured image credit: Robert Walkley (@robertwalkley1)
A 10 minute hat-trick from Sam Merson in the second half saw Gloucester City defeated at home to St. Alban’s City, 4-1.
Merson, son of former Arsenal midfielder and Sky Sports pundit Paul, was on hand to fire his side past the Tigers, strengthening their play-off credentials.
The early proceeding were dull and grey, much like the weather at The Jubilee Stadium, with neither side finding an early rhythm to settle into.
St. Alban’s looked to grab the initiative as they tried to work Andrew Hannah in the Tigers goal, although the game’s first real effort was a poor strike from Sambou that didn’t trouble the goalkeeper.
Arguably Gloucester’s player of the season, Ed Williams shot well from the edge of the box but Snedker was equal to it, before firing a free kick well over.
Despite some excellent work in the build-up phases, St. Alban’s were struggling to collate their possession into something meaningful to get the travelling fans excited.
However, they took the lead just before the break when Bender fired past Hannah, only for the lead to be almost instantly snatched from them, as Robbie Cundy headed past Snedker from a corner kick.
In the second half, though, Cundy went from hero to zero as he was dismissed for a foul in the penalty area, earning himself a second yellow in the process.
Merson stepped up and buried the spot-kick past Hannah, before picking up his second of the game minutes later after the Tigers ‘keeper had parried the ball straight into his path.
The front-man grabbed his third and the match ball after producing another good strike past Hannah to well and truly put the game out of reach as the minutes ticked by.
It was clear that the penalty decision changed the game in favour of the visitors but in the end there will be few complaints by the Tigers camp that they were doing enough to win the game.
Gloucester have just two games remaining of an up and down season, with their final home game coming this Saturday with East Thurrock United the visitors to the Jubilee Stadium.