St Albans City threw away a one goal lead away at Welling United on Saturday, where they eventually lost 3-1 and saw their FA Trophy hopes end for the season.

Things looked to be going in the Saints’ favour when Zane Banton’s goal sent them in at the break with a one goal advantage, but second-half strikes from Danny Waldren, Ademola Moses-Emmanuel and Anthony Cook gave the hosts the victory.

It took 20 minutes for the Saints to open the deadlock and the bulk of that time was spent on the back foot.

Dean Snedker had to be at his best early on, first to deny Bradley Goldberg from a tight angle before tipping Nathan Green’s header over from a corner.

Banton’s goal came from a Saints’ counter-attack that saw Solomon Nwabuokei flick a header into the bath of Sam Merson, whose first time shot was beaten out by Dan Wilks.

Merson collected the rebound and squared to Banton, who skilfully took the ball around Connor Dymond, before slotting into the empty net.

The Saints almost scored a second through Merson, who ought to have done better with Tom Bender’s searching ball from deep, but he mistimed his header and skewed it wide of the mark.

Nwabuokei was similarly profligate when he was played through down the right by a neat incisive pass. He left Waldren on the floor as he cut inside of him, but drilled his shot straight at Wilks, failing to make him work.

Welling were becoming frustrated and the attacking prowess they had displayed in the game’s opening exchanges seemed to have waned, as Rob Swaine’s desperate long range strike was more of a threat to the windows of a nearby veterinarian’s office than Snedker’s goal.

At the other end, St Albans were again given the chance to double their advantage when Merson flicked a free-kick goalwards, only to crack the crossbar with Wilks rooted to the spot before Bender’s acrobatic attempt on the rebound trundled well wide of the mark.

The Visitors’ inefficient attacking would come back to haunt them as a resurgent United mounted a real challenge after the break.

Waldren’s glancing header from a set-piece served as a warning shot, as it flashed just wide of Snedker’s goal.

The caution was not heeded by the Saints however and, after another Merson chance went begging, they found themselves back at square one on the hour mark when Waldren equalised following some calamitous defending from a Welling corner.

Jay Rich-Baghuelo headed the ball goalwards and a lack of communication resulted in a number of St Albans players scrambling to hack it away, before Waldren nicked in around the back and tapped it home.

Things got worse just two minutes later when a Cook cross from the right touchline made its way all the way through the Saints’ 18-yard-box to find Moses-Emmanuel at the back post, who could not miss from close range.

Chances for St Albans to get back into the game came in the form of a close range shot for the usually reliable Joe Iaciofano and a straight red card for Waldren however the striker fluffed his lines, while the team failed to capitalise on the numerical advantage.

Cook’s free-kick from distance five minutes later beat Snedker at his near post to send St Albans back home to rue their missed opportunities as their hopes in the competition ended for another year.