St Albans City fans are another lot – like Woking – who have a real problem with us simply being better than them. Is it Snorbans? Stalebuns? The people who (claim to) pay our benefits? Oh yes. We do enjoy this thing we’ve got with them. From one of the leafier corners of the county, it probably wasn’t ’til the early 90s that we got a second thought from the Saints; Boro’ storming up the pyramid. By then, of course, it was too late. We powered past them – and they didn’t keep pace. Sure, we’ve had ding-dongs with the Saints down the years; a weird amount of them ending 2-1 to one of us.
And, yeah, they’ve had their fair share of bragging rights. But it has to be this way. It’s how we keep things interesting between us…
St Albans City: The Facts
York Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 4PL
Go back 112 years and you have yourself the start of the Saints’ journey; formed in 1908 and straight into two leagues: the Spartan League Eastern Division and the Herts County League Western Division. This arrangement carried on up until the First World War. After, there’s a bit of a gap in the records until 1920 when they pop up in the Athenian League; clocking up a run of two titles in their first two seasons, followed by a second-place finish.
The 1922-3 season would be their third and final campaign as an Athenian League side. But it’s also a season that’s notable for a bit of FA Cup history. In their Fourth Qualifying Round replay at home Dulwich Hamlet, their goalkeeper didn’t turn up. It meant reserve half back Alf Fearn went in nets and conceded eight. For Saints, all seven goals in reply were scored by Wilfred Minter; the most goals scored by one player on the losing side of an FA Cup tie.
Why do we know St Albans City?
What’s that got to do with us, you ask? Well, nothing. But the following season (1923-4) saw the Saints take a step that would – ultimately – affect us. They joined the Isthmian League; keeping up their form of hitting the ground running by claiming the title three times in their first five seasons – including their debut campaign. It took an age for them to come close to the summit again, however; finishing second at the end of the 1954-5 season.
Then, as now seems to be the case with the Saints, came a little bit of unwanted history. At the end of the 1973-4 season, the club were relegated to a new second tier in the Isthmian League. Together with Corinthian Casuals, they were the first clubs ever to be relegated in the competition. In 1983, they went down again; this time to a new third tier (Division Two).
If it wasn’t for their instant return to Division One at the end of the 1983-4 campaign, our paths may have crossed much sooner. As it was, the Saints just about kept their noses ahead of us for the rest of the decade; going up to the Premier Division in 1985-6 as we went up to Division One. So, it would be cup competition that’d finally give us a chance to meet.
St Albans City: Record vs Boro'
* league points only
St Albans City: Result-by-Result (Boro' Scoring First)
How to get to St Albans City – Travel Information – Distance: 14 miles
On a good day, the trip to St Albans should be no more than 30 minutes. Head south on the A1(M) until you reach Junction 4; coming off the motorway before the Hatfield Tunnel. Take the first exit at the roundabout at the end of the slip road and head onto the A6129.
At the next roundabout, take the first exit for the B197 to go under the bridge. Go across the next roundabout onto Coopers Green Lane for 3.3 miles. Take a right at the next roundabout for Sandpit Lane and go over the next one to continue on for around 1.5 miles.
At this point, you’ll get to another roundabout. Take the first exit; turning left onto Clarence Road. In 0.2 miles, turn right onto York Road and the ground is down here on your left.
The leafy streets around the park area are the best option for parking. But there are some restrictions that you should watch out for. Otherwise, you could also park at City station at a cost of £2.50 on Saturdays.
Station: ST ALBANS CITY
Services to: ST PANCRAS INTERNATIONAL
St Albans City station is a short, walkable distance from Clarence Park. Turn left out of the main entrance and head up Station Way. At the end of the road, turn left for Hatfield Road and then turn right onto Clarence Road. It’ll only take around 10 minutes – if that.
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