In the moments after Jean-Michel Sigere fired St Albans City into a two-goal lead in the 74th minute of Saturday’s Conference South clash with Weston-super-Mare the Saints were dreaming of cup glory against Luton Town – 16 minutes later City walked off the Clarence Park pitch shell-shocked as the Seagulls stormed back to gain a sensational 4-3 win.

City fell well short of their performances in the two games against Kingstonian earlier in the week but still looked to have the measure of a Weston side that refused to budge from the short passing game it had adopted from the very first minute.

The Seagulls played football that was intriguing to watch but seemed to possess absolutely no penetration and City looked to have three straight-forward points safely tucked into their kitbags.

But with four goals in 14 minutes Weston not only more than doubled their tally of away goals for the season but also won on their travels for the first time in ten games.

Saints manager Steve Castle opted to stick with the XI that started at Kingstonian, which meant no place on the pitch for strikers Sigere, Drew Roberts and Inih Effiong. Roberts was not even amongst the substitutes, neither was Rob Magwood, while the other two enhanced their chances of starting against Luton by each coming on to score their third goal of the season.

Also absent was Ben Martin with the giant central defender given a run out for the Reserves during a 2-1 Spartan South Midlands League defeat away to Ampthill Town.

Weston made two changes from the side that was knocked out of the FA Cup by Salisbury City with Sahr Kabba and Brett Trowbridge making way for Simon Gilbert and Marcus Duharty. City were probably grateful that Kabba did not start as it was his introduction from the substitutes bench midway through the second half that led to their downfall.

City, looking to end a run of eight home league games without a win, began encouragingly with Mark Peters heading over from a Moses Odubajo.

James Fisher, making his 100th league appearance and playing in midfield with Hassan Sulaiman at right-back, played a good ball out to Pelayo Gomez and raced into the middle for the return only to send his header from the Spaniard’s cross comfortably wide.

Weston, without a win in their five most recent meetings with the Saints, won the first corner of the game with the ball being knocked out of the penalty area but only as far as Dayle Grubb whose shot, the visitors only on-target effort of the half, was collected easily by Paul Bastock.

The City goal survived an almighty scare when Jamie Laird’s in-swinging left-footed corner was somehow missed by Marcus Duharty and bounced in the goalmouth before flying wide of the back post for a goalkick.

Having found the back of the net just twice in their previous six home league games St Albans had the rare joy of a goal to celebrate on 31 minutes.

Gomez, playing a lone attacking role but well-shackled by the Seagulls defence, won a free kick out on the City right. Robbie Martin clipped the free kick towards the back post where it was just missed by Fisher but was powerfully headed home by Peters for his third goal of the season.

City created a good opportunity to increase the lead when Sulaiman crossed from the right but Gomez was just unable to reach the ball, before it could roll out of play Odubajo retrieved possession and played the ball back to David Deeney whose shot was seen heading towards the railway station.

Four minutes after the restart Deeney was more accurate with a decent effort from 22 yards that Lloyd Irish had to dive full length to his right to save.

While Weston seemed content to weave their tidy patterns all over the pitch the greater threat continued to come from St Albans and Gomez, after receiving a short pass from Fisher, turned swiftly away from his defender only to see his shot drift a couple of yards wide.

Gomez, though, was struggling with a shoulder and foot injury and was replaced by Sigere on the hour. Three minutes later the Frenchman set up Odubajo for an extraordinary miss.

Ryan Frater broke up a Weston attack and City counter-attacked at speed with Robbie Martin sending Sigere away. After evading Matt Villis the City striker slid a perfect pass towards the back post where Odubajo somehow managed to hit his shot against the upright when the York Road net was waiting to bulge.

A minute later the 17-year-old, on work experience from Leyton Orient, gave way to Adam Everitt who went to left-back with Peter Smith moving forward to the left of the midfield.

Castle made the last of his changes on 67 minutes with Effiong replacing Robbie Martin. Seagulls boss Craig Laird made a significant change at the same with the diminutive but speedy Kabba replacing Dean Grubb.

With Weston offering so little in attack it seemed that City needed just one more goal to be certain of victory. Smith, freed by Sigere, almost got that goal but his low shot, from his rarely used right foot, was half blocked by Irish with Craig Rand completing the clearance.

Bastock was called upon to make a long awaited save although Kane Ingram’s shot from some distance did appear to be sliding away from the goal. Two minutes later Irish finger-tipped wide a shot from Effiong that was already going wide to give City their first corner of the afternoon.

The match looked to be all over in the 74th minute when Smith fed Deeney who in turn played it out to the left to Adam Martin. The City midfielder did well to get close to the goalline and crossed low for Sigere to smartly sweep home the second City goal.

What happened over the next 14 minutes is likely to haunt City for some weeks to come.

Within a minute of that goal Ingram did well to hold off a couple of challenges on the edge of the home penalty area before laying the ball into the path of Duharty who beat Bastock with a rasping rising drive from 15 yards.

And on 77 minutes Weston were level as Kabba coolly side-stepped the advancing Bastock and tucked the ball into the vacant net from an acute angle. Seconds later only a crucial sliding tackle by Sulaiman stopped Ingram from breaking clear inside the box.

Following the first Weston goal there was an urgency and conviction about the Seagulls play that was missing earlier in the day but their spirited comeback looked to be in vain as City regained the initiative on 78 minutes with Effiong’s first goal at the Park.

Following Sulaiman’s tackle City advanced towards the York Road goal with Fisher sending a measured ball into the path of Effiong whose low drive went across Irish, struck the inside of the keeper’s right hand post and came to rest just inside the opposite upright.

With commendable spirit Weston brushed off this latest setback and almost drew level with Jamie Price passing inside to Duharty whose well-struck shot went just wide before clipping the stanchion.

But in the 80th minute the score did change for the fifth time in seven minutes following a well-worked move down the Seagulls right.

Receiving possession inside his own half Price moved forward before sending a pass towards the edge of the City penalty area that Justin Porter applied a feint touch to. Kabba latched onto the ball before guiding a right-footed cross into the penalty area that Ingram swept with his right instep to Bastock’s right for the equaliser.

With both defences more at sea than the Weston coastline more goals were in the offing and only the crossbar denied Adam Martin a goal with his header striking the woodwork following a cross by Sulaiman and good work by Fisher.

The madness continued with the City defence breached in the 89th minute for the final time – and the eighth occasion in two home league games – with the speed of Kabba proving to be the Saints undoing.

A long ball from deep inside the Weston half led to Peters struggling to contain Kabba and the Weston striker did well to keep his feet before sending a bouncing shot past Bastock and into the back of the net.

A crazy final 16 minutes looked to have one more bizarre twist when Irish smothered the ball and went towards the edge of his penalty area to clear. Inexplicably, the keeper dropped the ball at the feet of the Sigere but as he attempted to square the ball to the free Effiong he too slipped and gifted it to a grateful Price who was able to end the danger.

With that a remarkable afternoon came to a close with City still down in 18th position but now joined on nine points from 11 games by Ashley Vickers’ Dorchester Town following their 2-0 win at Lewes.

Prior to the kick off a one minute silence was held in memory of Colin Lippiatt, the respected and much loved former City manager who passed away on Friday.

St Albans City: P.Bastock, D.Deeney, P.Smith, A.Martin, M.Peters, R.Frater, H.Sulaiman, J.Fisher, R.Martin (I.Effiong 67), P.Gomez (JM Sigere 60), M.Odubajo (A.Everitt 64), subs; R.Dedman, S.Shields.

Weston-super-Mare: L.Irish, J.Price, J.Laird, C.Rand, M.Villis, Dayle Grubb (M.Slocombe 85), K.Ingram, S.Gilbert (J.Mawford 43), M.Duharty, K.Porter, Dean Grubb (S.Kabba 67), subs; R.Farmer, J.Cureton.

Booked: Ingram.

Goals: 31 1-0 Peters, 74 2-0 Sigere, 75 2-1 Duharty, 77 2-2 Kabba, 78 3-2 Effiong, 80 3-3 Ingram, 89 3-4 Kabba.

Referee: Chris Miller (Kettering).

Att: 284.