David Howell admitted his St Albans City side “never really got going” in their 3-0 defeat against AFC Totton on Saturday.

After both sides exchanged chances in the opening minutes, it was the hosts who made the breakthrough as Jamie Whisken sent a glancing header past the unprotected Nick Jupp.

The lead was soon doubled as Michael Gosney dispatched a penalty with little fuss following a foul by Curtis Ujah on Richard Gillespie.

The Hampshire side appeared content to sit on their advantage after the interval and, while St Albans enjoyed the majority of possession, they seldom looked capable of troubling home keeper Gareth Barfoot.

With City pushing forward in search of a route back into the contest, Totton grabbed a third on the break as Jonathan Davies skipped past a defender before coolly slotting home past Jupp.

The Saints fifth defeat in seven games sees them slip to seventh in the table and Howell was disappointed with the lackluster performance from his side.

“We looked like a team that hadn’t played for two weeks” the Saints boss explained. “We never really got going. We’ve lost one or two players but as a team we gave them a two goal head start and then we are chasing it in the second half.

“We were getting into areas but we were not really working them or opening them up. So it was a bit frustrating because everyone knows that 2-0 can be a dangerous scoreline.

“We probably had a couple of chances in the first half we should have done better with.

“That maybe could have lifted us going into half time. But it wasn’t to be. I think Lewis had one where he went through and he should’ve done better with.”

He continued: “We looked disjointed and we didn’t help each other. We didn’t communicate and it made it very difficult against a side that was organised, who did talk and who did help each other.

The Saints were without a number of players due to injury and Howell stated that he is actively looking to reinforce his side.

After a strong start to the season, City’s promotion push has stuttered in recent weeks with Howell’s men collecting just one victory from their last four Southern Premier Division games.

However, Howell remains confident that his side can recapture their best form.

He said: “We have had probably two very poor performances that stand out for me. That was Stourbridge at home and today.

“I think Stourbridge was a result of complacency but today we looked ring rusty and I’m hoping they will be better for the run out and I hope that we have one or two more players available soon.”