St Albans 0
(Lumbombo-Kalala 1′ 90+2′, Reid 9′, Edwards 63′)
A record-breaking day saw United sign off the season in style as they strolled to victory against St Albans on the final match of the season at Clarence Park.
No less than four club records were broken, as they went ahead through Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala staright from kick-off, before doubling their lead through top scorer Jamie Reid. A second half strike from substitute Opi Edwards, and another from Lumbombo-Kalala, saw United produce a performance befitting of champions.
Manager Gary Johnson named the same squad that went down 1-0 to Hungerford last time out, as Torquay looked to put the record straight after successive defeats.
One unexpected record was broken within seconds of the game kicking off. With the first attack of the game, Connor Lemonheigh-Evans fed Lumbombo-Kalala, who rifled the ball into the net with only ten seconds on the clock, beating Jordan Chapell’s 17-second effort against Portsmouth back in 2013.
Within a minute, it was nearly two, as Lemonheigh-Evans slammed an effort against the post.
On nine minutes the lead was doubled, Lemonheigh-Evans had a shot charged down, but Reid was on hand to fire in his 32nd goal of the season.
A minute later, Lemonheigh-Evans, at the heart of all United’s best early moves, saw history repeat itself as the woodwork denied him for a second time.
After an astonishing first ten minutes, the home side, chasing a play-off place, eventually roused themselves.
With 18 minutes on the clock, David Moyo beat United captain Kyle Cameron, and only a fine save from MacDonald prevented St Albans finding away back into the match.
Normal service was resumed on the half hour though, Ryan Dickson’s run into the penalty area was crudely ended by Scott Shulton, and a penalty was awarded.
Reid opted to send the spot-kick straight down the middle, but ‘keeper Dean Snedker read it well and parried the ball away to safety to limit the damage.
After such a dramatic first half, it took the second half a little to warm up in comparison.
However, United were still on top for the majority of proceedings, and a delicious cross into the box so nearly found the finishing touch from onrushing duo Olaf Koszela and Jake Andrews.
The third goal soon followed though, with Koszela flicking the ball into the path of fellow substitute Edwards to crown his recent return from injury to stab home his third goal of the season.
Any questions of United taking their foot off the gas were shot down in flames as both Koszela and Edwards came close to making scoring in the closing stages, before Lumbombo-Kalala completed the scoring in injury time with United’s fourth of the day, and 93rd of the season, sealing club record number two.
As the final whistle brought United’s championship-winning campaign to an end, their 27th win of the season took United’s points tally to 88 points, and in the process broke another two long-standing club records.
It’s been quite a ride over the past nine months, and there’s no doubt the club couldn’t have reached their record-breaking heights without their amazing supporters.
Enjoy the summer break Yellow Army, let’s do it all again in August!
St Albans City: 1. Dean Snedker, 2. James Kaloczi, 3. Ben Wyatt, 4. Scott Shulton (14. Dave Diedhiou 68′), 5. Lewis Knight (15. Luke Anthony Joyce-Dwarika 73′), 6. Michael Clark, 7. Liam Sole, 8. Soloman Sambou, 9. Khale Da Costa, 10. David Moyo, 11. Clovis Kamdjo (c). SUBS NOT USED: 12. Sam Merson, 13. Alfie Bonfield, 16. Thomas Geller.
TUFC: 1. Shaun MacDonald, 2. Ben Wynter, 3. Liam Davis, 11. Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, 14. Frank Vincent, 15. Jean-Yves Koue Niate (6. Jamie Sendles-White 69′), 16. Ryan Dickson (12. Opi Edwards), 17. Kyle Cameron (c), 18. Jake Andrews, 19. Jamie Reid (7. Olaf Koszela 52’), 20. Kalvin Lumbombo-Kalala. SUBS NOT USED: 8. Asa Hall, 13. George Burton.