Football: Non-league notebook: St Albans set for goal spree

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The Independent Online
A GOOD BET for a high-scoring game in this weekend's FA Cup third qualifying round programme is Romford's visit to St Albans City, writes Rupert Metcalf. The home side thrashed Hillingdon 11-1 in the previous round, with Steve Clark hitting six. In their last 14 League and cup matches, St Albans have scored 50 goals and conceded 29.

Three days after hammering Hillingdon, St Albans were thumped 7-2 at Yeading, but they rediscovered the winning habit last weekend when they beat Bishop's Stortford 5-0, thanks largely to a hat-trick from the former Luton and England striker, Brian Stein.

Romford, of the Essex Senior League, are underdogs at St Albans, but they have beaten two of City's rivals - Grays and Hayes - in the Diadora League Premier Division to reach this stage.

Romford are in only their third season of senior football since they were reformed in 1992, after 14 years out of the game. The old club were distinguished members of the Isthmian and then the Southern League in the post-war era, and were regular competitors in the first-round proper of the FA Cup, before they folded in 1978. Now, like Newport AFC and Aldershot Town, they are on the rise again.

The biggest crowd of the round will probably be found in South Wales tonight, when Newport entertain Trowbridge at Spytty Park. Tomorrow's largest gate may be at Moat Street, the home of Gresley Rovers, who entertain their local rivals in the Beazer Homes League Premier Division, Leek Town. Both sides have appeared at Wembley in recent years: Gresley in the 1991 Vase final, Leek in the Trophy final the previous year.

John Pratt, the former Tottenham midfielder, has joined the coaching staff of Stevenage Borough, the bottom club in the GM Vauxhall Conference.

Kidderminster Harriers, the GMVC champions, entertain Wolves on Monday to celebrate the opening of their new 1,100-seat grandstand.

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