WITH their third successive awayday Ryman League goal feast St Albans City, in chalking up their biggest Premier Division victory on opposition soil for almost five years, closed in on a number of club records on Saturday.

As well rewriting the record books, Saints condemned Hampton & Richmond Borough to their heaviest home reversal since stepping up to the top flight in 1998 with the 5-0 victory.

One post war record was set and one equalled as the Saints stretched their remarkable record of scoring in every league game this season to match number 20 ,while the magnificent achievement of scoring five times in two successive away league matches is something not previously recorded by the Saints since the early winter of 1925.

All such statistics may make for fun reading but, more importantly, the Saints best winning run for almost six years - six consecutive Premier Division games - has taken the club to within three points of a top three position in the Ryman League - not at all bad for a club brought to its knees by mismanagement in the boardroom and currently facing a winding up order.

City, unchanged from the starting line up at Billericay, went ahead after just four minutes when Gary Wraight slid a low pass in from the right to Simon Martin who, after getting away from two defenders, scored with a perfectly placed drive from a tight angle inside the near post as home keeper Stuart MacKenzie dived in the opposite direction.

The rest of the half was pretty much the Mike Bignall Show but the City striker, after getting into excellent positions on numerous occasions, proceeded to squander chance after chance.

Having missed the target once more in the 34th minute, Bignall turned provider to great effect in the 38th minute as his cross to the back post was chested down by Rob Smith who then pulled a stunning save out of MacKenzie with a blistering volley.

Unfortunately for the keeper, before he could recover to catch the rebound, Beevers defender Stowell, under pressure from Martin, chested the ball into the goal.

City needed no such assistance a minute later when Bignall crossed from the right to Smith who played the ball short to Martin. City's top scorer returned the compliment before receiving the ball back from Smith for a second time and then calmly sliding home his 10th goal in his last dozen appearances.

Two minutes from the break Bignall, when completely clear, shot softly wide once more but City were not to be denied a fourth goal before the interval and again Stowell made the final telling contact when he headed in an inswinging Smith free kick, despite this Brown tried his hardest to claim he applied the final touch.

Fifteen minutes after the restart City ensured Hampton conceded five goals for the second successive home league match when a classic glancing header by Martin from a Smith corner was blocked on the line by Steve Omonua but as the ball came back down off the underside of the crossbar Brown pounced and spun to powerfully drive home the goal.

For the full David Taverner report, see the St Albans Observer on Thursday, December 20.