St Albans City remain precariously positioned just above the National League South relegation zone after play-off chasers Hampton & Richmond Borough came from behind to beat them 2-1.

Zane Banton’s early finish put the Saints in the lead at the Beveree Stadium, but Luke Ruddick’s finish after a scramble in the area and Ryan Hill’s composed effort turned things around before the break.

A goalless second period then ensued, but it was enough to keep Hampton in the race for the play-offs, while St Albans will rue that Chippenham Town were able to hold second-placed Havant & Waterlooville to a goalless draw.

Things got off to the perfect start for the Saints as Hampton got off to a slow start. The visitors took the lead with only seven minutes on the clock when David Noble played an inch-perfect ball over the top for Banton, who controlled perfectly with his chest before slamming the ball home.

However, it did not take long for the home side to find their way back into the game. After a short corner routine, Hill had an effort blocked by David Longe-King, but the ball ricocheted into the path of Ruddick and he made no mistake with his first-time effort.

The Saints had an opportunity to restore their lead almost immediately, but Jefferson Louis was unable to find the net against his former club.

Instead, it was Hampton who went in front when they won the ball back from a drop-ball, broke forward with pace and Hill kept his cool to go around Dean Snedker and slot into the empty net.

St Albans had the second half’s first meaningful chance when a long ball forward was not dealt with properly by the hosts. Joe Iaciofano collected the ball and rolled it into the path of Scott Shulton, but his low effort was kept out by the legs of Dan Lincoln.

The game started to become stretched in the latter stages as the Saints hunted for an equaliser. However, it was Hampton creating all of the late opportunities, the best being Jake Gray’s effort from the edge of the box that went narrowly over the bar.

Hampton went close again late on when Wadah Ahmidi won the ball in midfield and released Danilo Orsi-Dadomo, but he fired his effort straight at Snedker when left one-on-one.

It mattered little in the end though, as Hampton held on to claim all three points and end the Saints’ three-game unbeaten streak.

Next up for them is a home game against Welling United this Saturday, kicking off at 3pm.