St Albans City were well beaten in their Herts Charity Cup clash with Hertford Town on Monday night.

The Saints came up second best in the tie as Town eased to a 3-1 win in front of their home fans.

The hosts came out of the blocks flying and were ahead inside 13 minutes as their overall dominance told to provide the breakthrough.

A sweeping attack saw a dangerous cross get played into the box where James Russell was on hand to make a smart save.

His efforts were in vein, however, as the loose ball fell to Tommy Wade and he did the rest with a simple finish.

City were still well in the game as it ticked towards half-time, but a catastrophic three-minute spell before the interval all but ended the game as a contest.

If Russell was unfortunate with the opener, he was culpable for the Town second after dwelling in possession and allowing Wade to make a tackle and double his money.

Two became three in the final minute of the half when Wade beat the offside trap and calmly lobbed the ball over Russell to complete his hat-trick.

City came out with a renewed sense of purpose after 15 minutes in the company of Allinson and gave themselves a lifeline in the 53rd minute.

Zane Banton was the man to provide it and did so in stunning fashion as he collected a pass on the left, took one touch and curled a superb effort into the top corner.

The goal understandably gave St Albans greater confidence and they were soon pushing for a second.

The Clarence Park club believed they had a penalty just before the hour when a shot struck a Hertford man, but their appeals for a hand ball were waved away.

Try as they might, Allinson’s men couldn’t find another breakthrough and Town held on for the victory with relative ease.

Monday night’s defeat came on the back of St Albans completing their pre-season schedule in fine fashion with a 4-0 defeat of Wingate & Finchley last Thursday.

Tom Bender, Ralston Gabriel, Sam Merson and Khale Da Costa got the goals for City in the resounding win.

City’s focus now turns to the start of the National League South season on Saturday when they host Hungerford Town at Clarence Park.

They follow that game with a visit to Kingfield Stadium to take on Woking next Tuesday.

City will be hoping to improve on their showing in the 2017/18 season, which saw them just miss out on the play-off places due to a slump in form late in the term.