St Albans City continue to rack up the goals and points with the White Tigers of Truro City being the latest victims in a five-goal National League South mauling at Clarence Park on Saturday.
The previous weekend saw City put five past Bishop’s Stortford in the second half, this time around City settled on just four after the break when dishing out Truro’s biggest away defeat of the season thus far.
St Albans certainly did not play as well as they can but, in truth, they did not need to against an out of sorts Truro side that has won just three times in the league all season and has conceded three or more goals in three of its past four games.
The Cornishmen took until added time at the end of the game to force City goalkeeper James Russell into making his first save of the day; it was one of the more straightforward of Russell’s seven clean sheets this season.
Allinson, who took Boreham Wood to promotion two seasons ago and in eight months has lifted St Albans from bottom of the table to fourth, made one change from the win at Bishop’s Stortford.
Full-back George Casey made way as Shaun Lucien was recalled to the side on the right of the midfield, with Ben Herd dropping to right-back.
City, attacking the York Road goal, looked positive early on and used the speed and leaping ability of Sam Merson to good effect, while Lucien caused early problems down the flank.
Lucien had a hand in the opening goal on 11 minutes when he moved into the penalty area from wide only to see his low cross blocked for a corner by the experienced Chris Todd.
City captain Lee Chappell swung the set-piece towards the back post where Ben Martin rose highest to head firmly back across goal for his second goal of the season.
Truro’s problems intensified four minutes later with former Torquay United manager Todd, in only his second appearance for the White Tigers, being forced out of the game with a hamstring injury.
Truro enjoyed three decent spells of putting pressure on the home goal, the first came midway through the half but, other than for a low cross into the goalmouth by Niall Thompson that Russell smothered in comfort, there was little genuine threat.
City suffered a blow just prior to the half hour when Merson went down following an innocent clash of heads with Truro substitute Arran Pugh.
For a short while Merson, who had scored in each of City’s previous four matches, lay motionless on the pitch but after a prolonged delay got back to his feet and was assisted as he walked somewhat groggily down the tunnel.
Any relief that the visitors may have breathed at the sight of Merson departing was quickly banished as the hugely popular Junior Morias took to the pitch and proceeded to make up for time lost during his recent five-match ban.
City almost added a second when Chappell, having a corner returned to him by Tom Bender, crossed to the near post where Truro ‘keeper Tom McHale beat out a flick by Louie Theophanous and then smothered the ball as the prolific City marksman attempted to walk the ball into the net.
Truro counter-attacked with Thompson darting along the goalline and sliding the ball towards Andrew Neal only for City defender Josh Hill to get a touch first, the ball ran nicely into the path of Ryan Brett but from seven yards out the visitor’s skipper ballooned his shot over the goal and terrace.
Lee Hodges’ side won three corners in quick succession just before the break but St Albans dominant backline held firm with little real concern.
The second half was just four minutes old when City took a firm grip on proceedings with a second goal that saw Theophanous demonstrate the supreme confidence with which he is currently playing.
A City attack looked to be petering out as Chappell gave chase to a wild cross and laid it off to Bender.
The left-back chipped a pass into the penalty area that Theophanous, some 15 yards from goal, controlled exquisitely and turned inside the towering figure of Pugh before shooting low inside McHale’s right hand upright.
Four minutes later Lucien won the ball just outside the home penalty area and charged, unchallenged, to just inside the opposite penalty area where his ground shot beat not only McHale but also the far post.
St Albans survived an anxious moment when Louis Rooney latched onto a misdirected header by the highly influential David Noble.
The Truro striker raced into the penalty area but, after being forced wide by the advancing Russell, played the ball back to Thompson whose cross drifted out of play before Neal could reach it.
One of the strange features of the game was the constant flying around the old Victorian park by a flock of seagulls. At one point during the second half seven of them strolled along the pitch in front of the cantilever stand while the football went on in front of the main stand.
St Albans finishing in the second half was quite exemplary and the third goal, on 69 minutes, showed just what a lethal partnership Theophanous and Morias can be.
Martin, just over two weeks away from his 34th birthday, headed a clearance to the halfway line from where Morias cushioned another header into the path of Lucien.
Morias then kept running to the edge of the penalty area and received a perfect flighted return pass from Lucien.
After chesting the ball down Morias saw his well-struck low drive strike McHale’s left leg and rebound towards Theophanous whose predatory instincts saw him skip wide of Jack Smith and hammer home his 14th goal in 13 games via his left boot.
As Theophanous went off to celebrate he had the good grace to pat a kneeling Morias on the head to acknowledge his part in the goal.
Morias received rather more genuine congratulations from his strike-force buddy on 80 minutes when putting City four-up with a wonderful solo effort.
Hill played a short free kick to Noble and from the halfway line the former Exeter City midfielder fed Theophanous who, in turn, played a square pass to Morias.
Starting from some 30 yards out Morias, from a standing position, suddenly burst into life past Smith before sending Pugh the wrong way with a lovely feint and then stroking the ball to McHale’s right as the completely deceived keeper fell to his left.
The game was long since decided as contest but, to their credit, Truro had five shots on the City goal during the closing seven minutes.
Twice they went close to reducing the deficit with River Allen shooting into the side-netting and then Thompson forcing Russell into his only save of the surprisingly mild afternoon.
But the final word went to the elusive Morias in the second minute of added time.
The move started with Hill launching a long ball down the right for Rhys Hoenes to give chase to.
Hoenes did somewhat better than that and left Jamie Richards and Smith in his wake as he sprinted to the goalline and clipped a perfect pass into the goalmouth for Morias to finish off from a couple of yards out.
Five seconds after the restart referee Adam Ricketts, a late stand-in after injury and illness ruled out the original two match officials put forward to control the game, blew for time.
Speaking after the game Saints manager Ian Allinson revealed that he felt that his side were below their best and that the margin of victory flattered them.
But for a side to score 80 goals in 36 games, as City have done since Allinson took up the reins, and notch five or more in three of their five most recent outings, suggests something greater than flattery is taking place at Clarence Park this season.
City have an abundance of riches going forward with Merson and Morias both giving tremendous goalscoring support to Theophanous yet both offering completely different styles of play.
Similarly, Dipo Akinyemi and Lucien add to City’s attacking options, they may not be such regular goalscorers but they each give something different to the Saints cause.
While on Saturday Hoenes, in the manner in which he teed up the fifth goal, showed just what a genuine threat he can be when staying on his feet and running with determination at a retreating backline.
City have the attacking strength to cause an upset on Saturday and Carlisle will dismiss that threat at their peril.
But prior to Carlisle, City have another cup tie to look forward to when London Colney visit Clarence Park on Monday (31st October) in the 1st Round of the Herts Senior Cup.
Kick-off is at 7.45pm.
St Albans City: J.Russell, B.Herd, T.Bender, L.Chappell, J.Hill, B.Martin, S.Lucien (R.Hoenes 81), Sc.Thomas, L.Theophanous, S.Merson (J.Morias 29), D.Noble (M.Ball 81), subs not used: D.Akinyemi, G.Casey.
Booked: Thomas, Martin.
Truro City: T.McHale, B.Adelsbury, J.Richards, R.Allen, J.Smith, C.Todd (A.Pugh 16), R.Brett (O.Knowles 61), N.Thompson, L.Rooney (L.Afful 65), A.Neal, T.Lyttle, subs not used: R.Fallon, E.Panzer.
Booked: Smith, Afful.
Goals: 11 1-0 Martin, 49 2-0 Theophanous, 69 3-0 Theophanous, 80 4-0 Morias, 90 5-0 Morias.
Referee: Adam Ricketts (Bristol).