You just can’t stop St Albans City, with most of the National League South already playing catch-up as the Saints secured a fifth successive win at Poole Town on Saturday.

New boy Rhys Murrell-Williamson continued his bright start to his career at Clarence Park with a third goal in yellow at the Black Gold Stadium, in what proved the only goal of the game and enough to take Ian Allinson’s men three points clear at the top of the table.

Brimming with confidence, Kieran Monlouis’ two speculative efforts began what was an increasingly routine Saints victory on the south coast.

The Dorset pitch was far from conducive to good football, leaving little to be played on the deck from either side, and it left Allinson’s side with not much to show for their early dominance.

Charlie Walker and Zane Banton had shots blocked inside the box, but the opening half-an-hour was far from memorable.

That changed when Poole broke through a previously steadfast back-line, and a delighted Steve Devlin found himself through on goal, only to skew his strike wide of the far post.

And before half-time there was more to shout about, when Banton cut in from the right, beat several Poole players and, when finally tackled, was grateful to a stroke of luck letting the ball run for Murrell-Williamson to fire a well-placed opener into the corner.

Devlin looked to make amends after the break but could not beat Dean Snedker with a powerful drive from outside the box, as St Albans soaked up the pressure from the hosts and looked to hold on to their advantage.

But without a second goal to cushion their advantage, they could have been caught out by Jack Dickson late on, but Harold Joseph blocked his shot and kept them in front.

Sam Mason and Shaun Lucien both could have added to the Saints’ lead in added time, but their misses would not prove costly as the final whistle went with St Albans sitting pretty at the top of the division.

“The game was a bit slow I felt,” said Allinson after the victory. “The pitch was very dry, and we had trouble moving the ball. But once we managed to get beyond their midfield, we started to cause some problems and rightly went in front before the break.

“In the second half, we just didn’t get that second goal and if we had, we’ve have got a third and a fourth - and you always leave yourself exposed with that, but luckily Dean’s not had a lot to do.

“We spoke to [Boreham Wood manager] Luke (Garrard) about Rhys Murrell-Williamson and he gave us a very good CV of him, and he’s come to the table, scored three very good goals and two have been very important.”

Despite their bright start, the Saints are still looking to make more additions to their squad, with Scott Thomas missing through an injury that looks set to keep him out for a short while.

“We need to bring in one or two new bodies in,” said Allinson. “We’re a bit light.”

St Albans City: Snedker; Herd, Eadie, Noble (Kiangebeni 86), Gardiner, Joseph, Murrell-Williamson, Sambou, Monlouis, Walker (Merson 84), Banton (Lucien 85). Subs not used: Gibson, Allinson-Stalham.