It was devastating news for St Albans City, as during their thrilling game with Dulwich Hamlet, goalkeeper Michael Johnson, known lovingly by fans as ‘MJ’, was forced to be subbed off, injuring his hamstring during his efforts to stop striker Darren McQueen’s goal from a long ball after just 19 minutes.

This created a unique situation for the Saints, as they found themselves without a substitute goalkeeper on their bench. As a consequence, centre back and captain Tom Bender was forced to put on his goalkeeping gloves and defend the St Albans goal for the rest of the game. Ultimately, the Saints were not able to win, losing 4-3 in a thrilling contest between two evenly matched teams. However, manager Ian Allinson praised Bender’s impromptu performance, saying "We had to protect Tom because he was fantastic in goal for us. He’s put the gloves on, he didn’t have to, but he’s put his hand up straight away.”

This was a rather coincidental event, as after the previous game, a thrilling and impressionable FA Cup victory over Forest Green Rovers, Johnson had lost his ‘lucky towel’, reported on in jest by the BBC, who covered the game itself. It had presumably been stolen or displaced after the raucous aftermath of the game, where the St Albans fans invaded the pitch to celebrate the historic win. Now, without his lucky towel, he has found himself with an injury which he is yet to return from, certainly alarming the superstitious among us.

St Albans made the decision to invest after this game, which they lost 4-3, into a replacement goalkeeper for the time being, while Johnson heals. They announced the loan signing of 18-year-old Coniah Boyce-Clarke, who plays for Reading FC U23’s. The club is hoping to prevent having to play outfield players in goal and increase its level of professionalism as more eyes draw towards them, especially during their historic FA Cup run, which has thrusted them onto national television. It is a decision which also connotes the possible severity of Johnson’s injury, something which may worry a lot of St Albans fans.