St Albans City manager Ian Allinson was left ruing a wasteful second half after he saw his side come from behind twice, only to lose 3-2 against Dartford on Saturday in National League South.

Goals from Zane Banton and Sam Merson ensured the Saints went in level at the break after Elliot Bradbrook and Phil Roberts had twice put the home side in front.

A late second for Roberts saw Dartford nick all three points after Allinson’s men had squandered a number of opportunities to win the game themselves.

“We’ve shown great character and we should have gone one and won the game,” said Allinson.

“We were in control, but allowed them back in the game and unfortunately we have given it away.

“It was a great finish in the end but it was a sloppy goal from our point of view.”

It would turn out to be a busy afternoon for Dean Snedker, who was called into action after 10 minutes when the first chance of the game fell to the hosts.

Roberts fired a shot low to the goalkeeper’s right, but he got down well to deny the striker.

Next it was Bradbrook’s turn to have a go and this time Snedker was well beaten as the midfielder’s long-range effort flew past him into the top corner in the 21st minute.

St Albans fought back though, and started to exert pressure on the Dartford defence. At first they struggled to find a way through but they were rewarded for their efforts on 34 minutes.

David Moyo picked out Banton with a cross and he showed great composure to slot the ball into the net to draw the game level.

Parity was restored for just five minutes before a rapid counter attack from the home side saw Charlie Sheringham pick out Roberts, who gratefully tucked away the simple opportunity.

There was still time for more drama to unfold before the break when Banton turned supplier from a corner.

He found Merson in the box and his shot was rifled in from a tight angle to make the game all square once again.

St Albans looked most likely to go on and win the game in the second half as they peppered Bailey Vose’s goal.

First Bender’s header brought a great save from the goalkeeper before David Diedhiou and Moyo saw their efforts flash wide of the post.

Jordan Sanderson crashed a looping effort from range onto the top of the crossbar, before Moyo again forced an acrobatic stop out of Vose, leaving St Albans stunned that they had not seized the advantage.

Dartford then battled back and a nervy 20 minutes ensued, with both sides unable to break one another down, until two minutes from time when a decisive moment came.

A long ball forward for the home side found Roberts on the edge of the St Albans area. Under pressure from the defence, the striker managed to hook his effort over the top of Snedker and into the far corner, stealing the three points at the death.