St Albans City missed the chance to go ahead of fellow relegation candidates Welling United with a second consecutive league defeat on Saturday at Clarence Park.

A Dipo Akinyemi double either side of half-time gave United a strong enough advantage in the game and meant that Joe Iaciofano’s goal 20 minutes before the end was only a consolation in the 2-1 loss.

The defeat leaves City sitting just a point above the relegation spots, although they are six points clear of bottom-placed Hungerford Town.

A win on Saturday would have seen them climb ahead of Welling and Tonbridge Angels into 18th place, but it quickly became apparent that they were in for a difficult afternoon.

Saints’ defender James Kaloczi was accommodating enough to offer Aaron Cosgrave the chance to round Dean Snedker early on, but he was spared embarrassment when the striker skewed his shot wide from a tight angle.

The threat gradually built from the visitors, who worked the ball into plenty of advantageous positions, but were unable to find a clinical touch.

A mis-hit shot from Diaz Wright from inside the six-yard-box gave the Saints a let off before Bradley Goldberg was unable to control a well-measured through ball that would have seen him round the back of the home side’s defence, with only Snedker to beat.

City weren’t the only ones acting generously at the back, however. A ham-fisted attempt at a clearance from Welling goalkeeper Dan Wilks went straight to the feet of David Noble, but he tripped over his own feet and tumbled to the ground with a large portion of the net gaping before Iaciofano failed to get his shot on target when the loose ball fell kindly for him.

The charitable defending was far from over however, and the Saints presented their visitors with a chance that proved too good to pass up.

Anthony Cook’s corner was dealt with poorly by Watford loanee Lewis Gordon, who chested it invitingly to the feet of Akinyemi and he fired a shot through a sea of players into the far corner to put Welling a goal to the good just ahead of the half-hour mark.

No solid chances were then created until the second half when the Saints could have equalised through Scott Shulton, who was slipped into the left of the 18-yard-box, where he decided to shoot instead of crossing to Sam Merson and Iaciofano in the centre. It turned out to be the wrong choice as his shot looped high over the top.

Welling then benefited from some more hospitable football from the St Albans defenders, who handed the visitors a second attempt to get the ball into the box after Cook’s free-kick. Wright’s cross bobbled through the six-yard-box, just out of reach of Akinyemi and eventually trickled wide.

The striker did find the net for a second time shortly after when his long-range effort ricocheted off the head of Michael Clark and looped over Snedker’s head, making life even more difficult for the hosts with just 24 minutes of normal time remaining.

Yet more disastrous defending allowed Iaciofano to halve the deficit just three minutes later when Cook haplessly headed the ball back into his own area for the striker to sweep the ball through the legs of keeper Wilks, giving the Saints a bit of hope.

However, with time running out it was the visitors who pushed hardest for another things might have been worse but for Snedker’s heroics in goal and the equaliser just never arrived.