St Albans Ladies suffered a second-half capitulation against Colney Heath Ladies in their Women’s County Cup quarter-final, eventually losing 5-3.

Saints led 3-1 at the break as Ellie Lovelock scored either side of Sophie Hull’s goal, but Colney’s Charlene Mereton struck four times in the second half to cap an excellent comeback and send St Albans crashing out of the competition.

Saints took the lead after making a bright start to the game, Hull playing the ball through for Lovelock who forced her way between two defenders before firing past Amy Butler from eight yards.

They continued to attack, and Butler had to be alert to keep out Cally Salter just minutes after the goal.

For Colney, Mereton flashed an effort across the box while Rianne Townsend-Brown should have done better when well placed.

They were made to rue those missed chances as Hull soon made it 2-0 to Saints, slipping the ball through Butler’s legs after capitalising on some poor Magpies defending.

Colney soon pulled one back through Samiara Khan, but Saints managed to restore their two-goal cushion before the break as Lovelock nipped in at the near post to steer a cross past Butler.

The Magpies managed to breach St Albans’ defence again at the start of the second half as Mereton sent Lauren Croucher’s poor goal kick sailing back over her and into the net.

Mereton was then on hand to draw Colney level, tucking home from Townsend-Brown’s cross after she had capitalised on a mistake.

Miraculously, Colney’s hero then put them in front to complete a terrific turnaround, firing into the top left corner to make it 4-3.

At the other end, Butler was called upon once more, this time denying Grainne Kellett with a tremendous save after she got on the end of Hull’s cutback.

It wasn’t to be for St Albans though, as Mereton added her fourth late on with a cross-shot that completely evaded the defence before nestling in the far corner to seal the scoreline and send her side through to the semi-finals of the County Cup.