St Albans City missed the chance to move off the foot of the National League South after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Hampton & Richmond Borough on Saturday.

The Saints would have moved off the bottom with a win due to Hungerford Town’s defeat at Chelmsford City, but after Tom Bender’s first-half penalty put them in the lead, they were pegged back by Matt Young’s leveller early in the second period.

Hampton had to see out the last 25 minutes with 10 men after Charlie Wassmer received his second yellow card for a late challenge on Sam Merson, but they still caused the Saints some problems in the closing stages.

Both teams struggled to get a grip on the game early on but Hampton had the better of the early chances. Danilo Orsi-Dadomo headed an effort over the bar before Ryan Hill saw his 25-yard strike well saved by Dean Snedker, who tipped it wide of the post.

The home side then had two penalty appeals turned away by referee Ross Martin, firstly as Zane Banton flicked the ball over a defender’s head and was then brought down by the same man, and then Joe Iaciofano did well to beat his man before going down under pressure, but the referee was unmoved on both occasions.

Frankie Musonda and Munashe Sundire were both shown yellow cards as the game began to heat up, and City then had their first attempt on target as Solomon Nwabuokei fired towards goal, but it proved to be a comfortable save for Dan Lincoln.

At the third time of asking, Saints were then awarded a penalty when Merson was caught by Wassmer as they both went for an aerial ball, with the latter being shown a yellow for the infringement.

Bender stepped up to take the kick and sent Lincoln the wrong way to put the hosts in front.

Hampton looked for an immediate response, but good defending from both Musonda and David Longe-King kept Saints in front until the break.

A succession of good chances for Hampton saw St Albans under the cosh at the start of the second half. Snedker did well to claim a free-kick after David Noble’s foul on the edge of the area, and the keeper was then called into action to tip Hill’s curling drive over the bar.

Hampton’s pressure finally told, though, as Ruaridh Donaldson got clear down the wing and delivered a ball across for Young to slot home from close range.

City responded well to the setback and had chances through both Merson and Iaciofano before they were handed a huge boost.

Wassmer’s late challenge on Merson saw him dismissed for his second yellow card, leaving Saints playing against 10 men for the remaining 25 minutes.

Almost instantly, the home side should have regained the lead when Banton was sent through, but Lincoln did well to produce the save with his legs and keep things level.

However, the best chance for a Saints winner fell to Merson with just four minutes left. Jamie Fielding stood up an excellent cross for the striker, but his glancing header bounced back off the post.

Instead, they were indebted to keeper Snedker, who somehow got down to his left to deny Young in the second minute of stoppage time.

Saints remain bottom after the draw, four points adrift of Dulwich Hamlet, Chippenham Town and Tonbridge Angels, who all hover just above the drop zone.

They now have some time to regroup ahead of their next league game which is away at Oxford City on Tuesday, December 17, kicking off at 7.45pm.