St Albans City have announced that, in a surprising move, striker Ralston Gabriel has left the club.
Gabriel, who signed from Harringey Borough in the summer, lit up the Saints scoring charts following his arrival in pre-season with 12 goals to his name, including a memorable four-goal haul against Chelmsford City back in September.
City manager Ian Allinson was disappointed at the departure but wishes the forward all the best for the future.
“It’s a blow to lose Ralston obviously but he was finding the level of commitment needed at this level a challenge to maintain and he felt it was best if he looked to play his football a little closer to home.
“He hit the ground running and if I’m being fair, he was sensational for me during his short time here.
“His goals naturally alerted quite a few clubs in the National Premier and we’ve always made it clear that we would never stand in the way of someone trying to progress in the game.
“We allowed him to speak to each and every one of them in turn but he picked up an injury which set him back.
“A player like Ralston will always be an attractive proposition and it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t make things work here at St Albans City but these things happen and of course we wish him all the very best. I have no doubt that our paths will cross in the future.”
Whilst the departure of the leading scorer is far from ideal preparation for the forthcoming league match against Wealdstone on Saturday, Allinson believes it will provide an chance for the other members of the squad to step up.
“We’re now looking at our other strikers to stand up and be counted. David Moyo has been great for us so far and now Sam Merson could find himself with the opportunity that he’s been relishing for a number of weeks now.”