Sunday the 7th of November saw a sold-out Clarence Park host a historical fixture, as sixth tier St Albans beat 4th tier Forest Green Rovers at home to reach the second round of the FA Cup for the first time in 25 years.

The game was end to end, with Forest Green taking the lead: Matty Stevens breaking the deadlock after 18 minutes, silencing the roaring home crowd. However, in a stunning turn of events which raised the roof, St Albans equalized with a glancing header from Mitchell Weiss at 25 minutes, and just 4 minutes later Zane Banton slotted home, in a show of individual flair, to put the underdogs ahead, much to the excitement of the home fans.

However, Forest Green equalized at the end of the first half, as attacking midfielder Aitchison displayed the team’s professional quality, driving the ball into the bottom corner past the stubborn Saints keeper Michael Johnson.

St Albans piled on the pressure during the second half, working tirelessly to defend and agitate the opposition. They nearly broke the deadlock as Callum Adebiyi latched onto a ball delivered from a corner, only for his effort to be cleared off the line by a Forest Green defender. Countless minutes of high pressure paid off for the Saints however, as in the 78th minute, a defensive error from the visiting side’s right back led to Mitchell Weiss picking up the ball in a dangerous area, before squaring it to Saints target man Shaun Jeffers, who finished coolly with a lobbed strike to complete a stunning comeback.

They managed to hold on for the remaining 12 minutes plus 5 minutes of stoppage time, and as the whistle blew, ecstatic hordes of St Albans fans rushed onto the pitch to celebrate the historical victory. Chants of “Oh When the Saints!’ were sung loudly by fans young and old; all fans rejoicing the result of the game, which they had presumed would be a resounding defeat for the semi-professional club.

For the first time in 25 years, St Albans will play in the second round of the FA Cup, travelling a short distance to face local rivals Borehamwood FC on the 6th of December.