Roberts strike confirms playoff place
Taurean Roberts' 25 yarder caps off professional Beavers performance and confirms playoff place
The Beavers confirmed their playoff place with a sterling performance which took advantage of the Saints naivete, according to the home boss, Ian Allinson, yet also showed that the Beavers are not reliant on any one player.
With only one change to the midweek line up - James Mulley coming in for Shandon Baptiste - the Beavers made the best possible start on 10 minutes.
Josh Casey's corner was cleared away into the opposite corner to be retrieved by Brendan Kiernan; his pacey outswinging cross was perfect to be attacked and it was the big man, Charlie Wassmer, who timed his run perfectly to plant a bullet header past keeper Dean Snedker for his 8th goal of the season.
St Albans then built up pressure on the Beavers defence, using Sam Merson's long throws to good effect, and just after the half hour caused panic in the Hampton 6 yard box. The throw wasn't cleared, it bounced around the box and it took a Casey clearance from under the crossbar to salvage the situation, as Wassmer courted danger with what appeared to be a clear push on a St Albans player in the melee.
With 5 minutes to the break, the home side equalised and it came from one of Merson's dangerous throws.
Seny Dieng came out to punch the ball clear, but he didn't quite get enough on it; the ball fell to Zane Banton on the edge of the box, he struck a clean shot through the crowded area into the back of the net.
It looked as if that would be the half time score and on balance, it looked the fair reflection of the game but the Beavers took advantage of that naivete to retake the lead right on the stroke of half time.
A corner from the Saints was dealt with efficiently by the Beavers and the wave of attacking red and blue shirts outpaced the retreating defenders; Brendan Kiernan playing the most delightful ball into the path of Shaun Jeffers, who was in lots of space.
Jeffers took it to the edge of the Saints area as Snedker came out to narrow the angle. His first shot was saved by the keeper, but keeping his cool, Shaun retrieved the rebound and took it round Snedker to sidefoot the ball home.
After the break, the Saints picked themselves up and just before the hour, could have leveled the game up at 2-2.
A clearance out from the Saints defence was missed by Jack Cook - making a complete air shot - and Sam Merson was through on goal. Faced with Dieng though, the scorer of a hat trick in midweek could only stab the ball into the side netting.
The Saints continued to press but couldn't find a way through, and with 12 minutes to go, Taurean Roberts killed off the game.
Having earned a free kick over on the far side, the Hampton free kick was cleared by the St Albans defence, and it was picked up by the Beavers and recycled back to Roberts.
From some 25 yards out, his powerful, curling shot from the Hampton left was destined for to the top corner from the second it was struck and Snedker was left pawing the air as it streaked into the net.
This took the wind out of the St Albans sails, and the Beavers were able to close out the match and take the 3 points, leaving the hosts relying on others for their playoff place.