St Albans Ladies climbed to the top of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Women’s League Division One on goal difference after their 2-0 win over Letchworth Garden City Eagles Ladies on Sunday.

Ellie Lovelock’s first-half effort was added to midway through the second by Millie Guest, with the Lady Saints resting three of their main attackers, including both Salter sisters, Ellen and Cally, and Kayla Johnson, who were named as substitutes in case they were required.

However, St Albans’ early showing suggested they could be in for an afternoon on the touchlines, with Eagles keeper Katie Smith forced into an early save as Lovelock looked to turn Molly Slade’s free-kick delivery into the net from the back post.

Moments later Kerry Twigg must have thought she was going to break the deadlock when she received the ball from Jess McNamara on the edge of the six-yard box, but she was denied not once but twice by Smith, who did extremely well to recover and keep out the rebound.

The Lady Saints finally found a way past Smith in the 26th minute, again through an assist from McNamara who picked out Lovelock in the box. She controlled the ball elegantly before rifling it into the roof of the net, taking no chances of being denied by another stop from the keeper.

With St Albans looking to add to their narrow advantage, Johnson and Cally Salter were introduced for the second half, but it was defensive work that was needed immediately after the restart.

Tayla Murray slipped a shot past the on-rushing Lauren Croucher but Holly Rossington was there to hook the ball to safety off the line.

Any chances of an Eagles comeback were all but eradicated just after the hour mark when Saints doubled their advantage.

Johnson slipped an incisive ball through to Guest on the right and her well-struck hopeful ball to the far corner found the back of the net.

Another fine save from Smith denied McNamara from 10 yards out to prevent the Lady Saints adding to the score, but two was enough in the end to see them take top spot in the league table.