St Albans City bounced back from their previous week’s humbling at the hands of Northampton Town to register their first victory of pre-season at Hendon, but had goalkeeper Dean Snedker to thank for saving a last-minute penalty.

Goals from Roman Michael-Percil against his former employers and one from prolific former Haringey Borough forward Ralston Gabriel proved enough for Ian Allinson’s side to squeeze home 2-1 at Silver Jubilee Park.

The Saints, who also included fellow former Hendon players Dave Diedhiou, Luke Tingey, Khale da Costa and Harry Joseph, looked to have secured a routine victory until substitute Dylan Kearney reduced the arrears with four minutes to play.

And when Tom Bender upended Cole Brown deep into stoppage time, Hendon were presented with a glorious chance to deny St Albans their first victory of pre-season.

Snedker had other ideas, however, saving superbly with his legs to thwart Kearney and help the Saints make amends for last weekend’s 4-0 reverse against Northampton.

As is customary at this time of the year, the St Albans coaching staff continued to cast their collective eye over a number of hopefuls currently training with the first team squad.

And, after surviving an early scare, the visitors were quick to take advantage once the opportunities began to arrive.

Good work by one of several St Albans triallists fashioned a chance for Michael-Percil and he was not about to pass up the invitation.

Arriving unmarked in the Hendon penalty area, he took a touch to steady himself and then fired past a helpless Zaki Oualah.

Goal number two arrived within minutes of their opener as St Albans displayed the kind of cutting edge that would have delighted their manager.

Again the Saints capitalised clinically, this time on a slack bit of defensive work that allowed Gabriel to wriggle free and blast an effort into the roof of the net for his first St Albans goal.

With an early two-goal cushion the game descended into a typical pre-season encounter, lacking the tempo at times with both sides working hard to establish their fitness and get much needed minutes under their belt.

Indeed, with precious few chances mustered by either side for the remainder of the first half, this was in danger of becoming a mere training exercise – not that Allinson would have minded.

Hendon though, enjoyed the brighter start to the second period creating – and squandering – useful openings from Tyriq Hunte and former professional Marvin Morgan.

The frenetic tempo from former Saints boss James Gray’s visitors ought to have brought reward soon after, only for a fantastic goal-saving clearance off a Connor Kingdom shot, with Snedker well beaten.

St Albans’ rearguard appeared resolute and, for most of the remainder of the game, seemed infallible.

But any hopes of a first clean sheet of pre-season were dashed when substitute Kearney showed good strength to fire beyond Snedker.

Allison though, might have had greater cause for concern had Hendon capitalised on their next, and final, chance. With Bender on the wrong side of Brown, a mistimed challenge always looked a possibility.

Kearney confidently accepted responsibility from the spot with virtually the last kick, but he was no match for the impressive Snedker who ensured the Saints registered their first pre-season success ahead of forthcoming tests against higher opposition in the form of the visits of Luton Town and Leyton Orient.