An off-colour St Albans City proved no match for Bath City as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at Clarence Park on Saturday.

The Saints were second best for much of the National League South encounter as they failed to deal with their play-off chasing rival’s fluid attacking play.

Bath took control of the match in the first period as Adam Mann’s 10th minute effort and a strike from Ryan Brunt just after the half-hour gave them a two-goal lead at the interval.

While City rallied after the break, Ian Allinson’s men rarely looked like troubling the Bath keeper as they toiled to create clear cut chances.

The visitors looked the more likely from the off and it took some smart blocks from a scrambling City defence to deny them an opening goal from virtually their first attack.

Bath would not have to wait long to take the front, however, as Anthony Straker’s miscued shot from 25 yards eluded a static St Albans defence.

The only man who was alert to the danger caused by the low effort was Brunt as he arrived unchecked at the back post to turn in from six yards.

St Albans’ defending for the goal left plenty to be desired and they never really recovered from the early set-back as Bath began to control to tempo of the game.

Ian Allinson’s men were fortunate not to go 2-0 down when a routine clipped cross from a free-kick deep on the Bath left was met by the head of a towering defender.

His header looked set to find the far corner but drifted just wide of the mark with Dean Snedker stranded in the St Albans goal.

When Bath’s second did arrive it was indicative of the flaws which undermined their performance all day.

From a dangerous position, Ralston Gabriel lost his footing on the edge of the Bath box and the visiting side were able to bring the ball away.

They worked possession into the feet of Tom Smith and he found Mann on the edge of the box who managed to fire a shot through the hands of Snedker.

Much of St Albans’ better moments had come through Khale Da Costa who had operated in an unfamiliar right-back berth in the first-half.

It was little surprise then to see Allinson push him further forward in search of a comeback in the second half and he proved a useful outlet.

Still, though, the Saints were unable to create genuine chances and largely had to make do with efforts from distance.

Bath, meanwhile, posed plenty of questions at the other end and Snedker had to be at his best to deny Joe Raynes a goal.

The two-goal margin saw Bath relax as the game reached its climax and they settled for what they had to hold out for a comfortable win.

City find themselves ninth in the table after the loss and Bath have climbed above them to fifth with 12 games played so far this season.

The Saints have a week away from league action after the loss ahead of entertaining Slough Town at Clarence Park on October 27.

Slough currently occupy seventh spot in the table and are a points ahead of the Saints having picked up 20 this term.