NORTHAMPTON Town proved to be difficult opposition for St Albans City as they eased to a 4-0 win at Clarence Park.

The game was City's first of their pre-season schedule and saw them struggle to come to terms with the Cobblers' quality.

It was the League Two side who started the brighter of the sides and went close to going ahead when Sam Hoskins forced Dean Snedker into a good save early on.

City rallied and were unfortunate not to take the lead when Percy Kiangebeni's header clipped the top of the crossbar.

That was as good as it got for the Saints, however, and they found themselves 2-0 down after Daniel Powell hit a quickfire double.

His first had more than an element of fortune about it and took a wicked deflection to leave Snedker with little chance in the City goal.

Powell showed his quality when scoring his second, however, latching onto a through ball and rounding Snedker before finding the net.

The half-time interval seemed to stir new life into the City cause and they came out of the blocks flying after the restart.

It took a smart double save from James Goff to prevent City pulling a goal back with the second half still in its infancy.

Town reacted swiftly to the scare and were three up soon after when Billy Walters found the net in calm fashion.

He sealed a brace of his own when he curled into the far corner to complete the scoring and condemn City to a heavy defeat.

At the time of going to press, City were preparing for their second pre-season of the summer against Stevenage Town.

They follow that match with a meeting with London Colney away from home on Saturday.

For St Albans City manager, Ian Allinson the defeat provided evidence of the need to make further improvements before the start of the new National League South season.

He felt his side let themselves down with a slow start from which they were always likely to struggle to recover from.

"They looked a little bit sharper than us early on and I am disappointed about the goals we gave away," Allinson said.

"They are all areas that we can work on and I am really impressed with one or two of our players.

"It is so difficult to tell how well you have done against a League Two side. They got relegated last year and I still think we caused them a few problems."

With the game being played in sweltering 30 degree heat, Allinson made sure to use his squad.

No outfield player was given more than 45 minutes of action and Allinson also used a number of trialists.

He is still looking to put the finishing touches on his squad, but accepted that few of those given a chance to impress had taken it.

He said: "The plan was to give players 45 minutes each. Some of the trialists we brought in today are probably not going to be good enough.

"I think some of them were trying to hard and were doing a lot of flicks and showboating.

"I would rather they showed hard work and endeavour. When they get the ball they need to use it well and when they lose it they need to work hard."