St Albans City put their National League South troubles behind them on Saturday as they claimed a 3-1 FA Trophy win over Poole.

City took the lead through David Noble’s penalty, only for Poole to hit back with a penalty of their own just three minutes later.

It took until the 71st minute for City to make their superiority tell when Rhys Murell-Williamson scored with a sublime curling effort.

The wide-man doubled his personal tally with a minute remaining as he once again cut inside from his flank to make it 3-1.

City boss Ian Allinson was delighted to see his side return to winning ways as the Saints booked a place in the first round proper.

“It was pleasing from my point of view because we have been in a sticky patch for a while and results haven’t gone our way,” he said.

“It is nice to progress in the cup and stop the slide we have had in recent weeks. We have to pick up ourselves up and try and get points in the league.

“We have had a poor month in terms of results and it is just about trying to keep confidence levels up.”

The game came to life as the first half reached its climax, with a driving run in from the wing seeing City win a penalty.

Noble duly dispatched but the lead lasted a matter of moments when Poole were awarded a spot-kick of their own.

Allinson felt both penalties were generous, but felt City were hard done by to go in level at half-time.

“I said at half-time that from where I was they were two very harsh penalties, but wer have to take it,” he said.

“It was the first time in a while we have had someone driving into the box and taking someone on, which we have spoken about doing for a while now.

“It is nice to have that bit of luck and score a penalty, but within three minutes we have been pegged back and that put us on our heels.

“It would have been nice to take a lead into half-time and I felt that affected us in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

“After that, we started to take control and created three or four really good chances.”

That greater level of control allowed City to pull away as the game approached full time and Murrell-Williamson took centre-stage.

His first strike was particularly impressive as he picked the ball up wide on the right and cut inside before curling perfectly into the far corner.

The winger has been in fine goalscoring form this season and would end the day in double figures for the campaign as he notched once again in the 89th minute.

His second was, once again, a show of individual class as Murell-Williamson drove at the heart of the Poole defence.

Having shifted the ball onto his left, he let fly an d saw his low strike deflect beyond the visiting keeper.

City will hope to take the form shown in the FA Trophy into their league clash with Truro City on Saturday.

Their opponents sit third in the table and are five points ahead of City, who could climb back into the play-off places with a victory.