Ian Allinson was full of praise for his players’ determination as St Albans City came from behind to kick-off their campaign with a 3-2 win over Oxford City.

The Saints went behind to Matt Paterson’s 24th minute strike before goals from Shaun Lucien, Solomon Sambou and Sam Merson put them 3-1 up.

A David Pearce effort at the death proved to be a mere consolation as City took all three points from Marsh Lane.

After an ominous start, which saw Oxford enjoy the lion’s share of possession, St Albans grew to their task, much to the delight of their boss.

“I felt the first 10 or 15 minutes they really came at us despite not really creating any clear cut chances. It took us a long time to get into the game,” Allinson explained.

“We had a really good spell ourselves and against the run of play they have scored a goal. It is always going to be difficult away from home when you go behind.

“We have a bunch of boys here who can come from behind.

“The boys dug in really deep in the end and it was a great result for us.”

Oxford started well and were playing an expansive game as they exploited the flanks.

They were gifted the opener, however, when a routine pass forward from Joe Oastler eluded Tom Bender.

Paterson raced onto the loose ball and lobbed Dean Snedker to give the hosts the lead.

City reacted well and were almost level when Lucien’s free-kick deflected just wide of the post.

With half-time fast approaching, City drew level when Sambou won possession in midfield and released Lucien who finished deftly with the outside of his boot.

They were ahead just 20 seconds after the restart when Sambou turned from provider to scorer with a curling effort.

From there the visitors began to dominate and Sambou, who impressed throughout, would be involved once more in the build-up to the all-important third goal.

He won the ball and released Merson, who controlled in the box and fired a powerful shot beyond the Oxford keeper.

The hosts pushed forward in a desperate attempt to force an unlikely late comeback, a goal they would fall short of.

They did, however, reduce the arrears to one goal in the fourth minute of added time.

It was not the most aesthetically pleasing of goals as Craig Fasanmade’s cross caused confusion in the St Albans box.

The goalmouth scramble ended in Pearce turning home, but it mattered little as City held on for a 3-2 win.

Away from the pitch, City have allowed defender Jack Saville to leave to club, with the 26-year-old joining Farnborough.

It is a move Allinson says has more to do with logistics than a desire to lose the player, and he gave Saville his blessing to depart.

“He was struggling with the commitment in terms of the travelling,” he said.

“Jack lives in Farnborough and was having to leave at four o’clock on a Tuesday and Thursday to make it to training for 6.30.

“We wish him all the best and thank him for the service he has given us over the past five or six months.”