St Albans City’s worrying form continued on Saturday with a 2-1 defeat away at fellow strugglers Tonbridge Angels that saw them plummet to the bottom of the National League South table.

The Saints have now lost four of their last five games and this weekend’s loss saw their opponents leapfrog them to climb out of the relegation zone and leave Ian Allinson’s men in last place.

Zane Banton’s 89th minute strike was ultimately of little consequence after strikes from Ben Greenhalgh and Khale Da Costa had given the hosts a two goal advantage earlier in the game.

An open start to proceedings saw both sides demonstrating why they are at the wrong end of the table, with the Angels failing to force any saves from Dean Snedker, despite enjoying possession in some dangerous positions, and the Saints squandering a great chance to take the lead when Scott Shulton put his effort at a comfortable height for Jonathan Henly from a one-on-one when he really ought to have done better.

The deadlock was broken by a rare moment of class when a clumsy St Albans tackle gave Tonbridge a free kick on the edge of the area and Greenhalgh stepped up to curl it delicately into the top corner, beyond the flat-footed Snedker.

The Saints were dealt another blow shortly after when captain Tom Bender had to be replaced due to a freak accident.

The defender was in the process of clearing the ball when the turf gave way beneath him, causing him to painfully roll his ankle.

By this point the game had settled into a rhythm with the home side firmly on the front foot, but unable to put Snedker under any real duress as shot after shot flew either high or wide, or sometimes both.

Greenhalgh did have the chance to repeat his party trick with a free kick from a similar position, but this time it was much too close to the Saints’ keeper who saved comfortably.

The game was still crying out for quality after the break, with a long-range Da Costa free kick dropping wide of the mark for the home side, while Joe Iaciofano was unable to round off his fancy footwork with a shot on target.

In fact, it took until the 77th minute for the game to see its next shot on target and from it came Angels’ second goal.

A shoddy clearance from James Kaloczi gifted the ball to the home side, who broke down the left flank with Jason Williams, whose cross-field pass found Da Costa on the edge of the box and he guided his effort into the bottom corner past the despairing Snedker.

A scramble in the Tonbridge penalty area gave Banton the chance to lash a shot into the roof of the net in the final minute of the 90 to halve the deficit, but they were unable to create any chances to equalise in injury time and instead almost conceded again when substitute Joe Turner slipped his shot wide of the post from a one-on-one.

Following the game, the Saints manager Allinson said his team had been second best throughout the encounter.

“I felt they were, on the front foot, probably better than us and they wanted to win the game more than us,” he told the St Albans City website.

“We didn’t really look like we could pass the ball today, I felt we were second best all over. There’s got to be a lot of soul searching over the weekend and a lot of hard work to be done to turn this around because, with what I’ve seen today, I didn’t enjoy some of what I’ve seen today and we’ve certainly got to improve from where we are.

“We were second best.”