St Albans Ladies found themselves on the wrong side of a seven-goal thriller on Sunday as they lost 4-3 away to Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires.

The Lady Saints took the lead through Sophie Hull before a Janiece Allen hat-trick made it 3-1 to the home side.

Ellie Lovelock and a second for Hull levelled the tie after the break to set up an exciting finish, only for Patience Ndlovu to snatch a late winner with a free-kick.

St Albans took the lead on 10 minutes when a Molly Slade free-kick found its way to Hull via Lovelock, who scored into the bottom left corner.

It took another 25 minutes for the Sapphires to get the equaliser, but when a long ball was pumped up the pitch, Allen latched onto it and barged her way into the box before beating Lauren Croucher to make it 1-1.

There was still time for the hosts to take the lead before the break which they did through a similar long ball from which Allen once again broke free to score her second.

Her hat-trick was complete soon after the restart with another exact copy of the first two goals showing the Lady Saints had failed to learn from their previous mistakes.

St Albans never gave up though, and produced a thrilling comeback, first pulling a goal back through a second Lovelock finish after she wrestled the ball back from the opposition.

Then Hull drew the sides level with five minutes left after she was picked out by Sophie Lawrence, to seemingly earn a hard-fought point.

However, the match still had another twist in its tail and Ndlovu’s stoppage-time free-kick somehow squirmed through the hands of Croucher to make the final score 4-3 to the hosts, leaving the Lady Saints feeling deflated.