A brace of first-half goals for Shaun Jeffers, one a generously awarded penalty, and an inspired display by goalkeeper Michael Johnson carried St Albans City to a 2-0 National League South victory over bottom-of-the-table Welling United on a dank Tuesday evening at Park View Road.

Sandwiched between Jeffers' two goals, Johnson pulled off three outstanding saves as the Wings' search for a first home win of the season continues.

After slumping to their first league defeat of the campaign at the weekend this was a good response from Ian Allinson’s side although to be two goals to the good at the interval was extremely flattering.

Aside from top scorer Jeffers taking his tally for the season into double figures, one of the highlights of the evening from the Saints point of view was the excellent contribution of 38-year-old captain David Noble on his return to the starting XI for the first time since mid-October.

The game got off to sluggish and scrappy start with both sides conceding possession at will. It was hardly of any great surprise when Noble showed the first genuine piece of quality with his free-kick on 11 minutes being expertly tipped over by the stretching Reice Charles-Cook.

Former Saint Rhys Murrell-Williamson had the Kent side’s first pop at goal but his shot was last seen heading in the general direction of Danson Park.

City took the lead on 29 minutes with a goal that had a patient build up and a touch of fortune too.

Noble laid the ball out to Kyran Wiltshire on the City left, he quickly touched it onto Mitchell Weiss who clipped it wide again to Luke Warner-Eley. From his cross an attempted clearance by Ryan Blackman deflected the ball onto Jeffers and back into the path of Weiss. From close to the goal-line, Weiss cut a low pass inside to Jeffers who stroked home the opening goal from eight yards.

Welling’s response, particularly given their troubled campaign to date, was impressive.

On 35 minutes, Johnson dived low to his left to parry away a good low angled drive by Lionel Ainsworth.

Two minutes later and a clever pass by Ainsworth from the Wings' left sent Joe Taylor clear but his shot low towards Johnson’s neat post was blocked by the keeper’s legs. A minute later Murrell-Williamson battled his way through three challenges to tee up Taylor whose rising shot was superbly tipped over by Johnson.

Johnson’s heroics looked to have clinched a slender half-time advantage for his side but in the first minute of added time referee Michael Ryan generously awarded a penalty when Weiss and Chiori Johnson clashed somewhat mildly inside the 18-yard box.

Jeffers swept his spot kick to Charles-Cook’s left to claim his tenth goal of the season as the keeper dived in the opposite direction.

The second half offered little in the way of entertainment but St Albans saw it out with much greater assurance than had been seen during the opening 45 minutes.

Midway through the half Weiss looked to round off an excellent City move when breaking clear of the Wings back line but shot meekly into the side-netting.

Welling hit straight back with Murrell-Williamson’s final contribution before being substituted being a perfect chip onto the head of Taylor who headed wastefully wide.

City were comfortable in possession during the closing stages and should have had a third goal on 89 minutes when Munashe Sundire – who picked up his fifth booking of the season – sent Jeffers away with a delightful through ball only for Charles-Cook to push away the shot low to his right.

Welling United: R.Charles-Cook, C.Johnson, L.Della Verde (B.Bennett 46), R.Murrell-Williamson (K.Simons 66), R.Blackman, A.Shokunbi, J.Taylor, L.Ainsworth (D.Akinyemi 78), F.O’Mara, S.Mvembe, R.Strachan. Subs not used: L.Hobbs, S.Ilic.

St Albans City: M.Johnson, K.Wiltshire, J.Kaloczi, M.Clark, S.Jeffers (J.Chidyausiku 90), R.Shakes, D.Noble (D.Diedhiou 67), M.Weiss (R.Akinola 90), M.Sundire, J.Mukena, L.Warner-Eley. Subs not used: D.Stanley, J.Kinoshi.