Despite having the better chances and playing some excellent football, Welling United slumped to defeat at St. Albans City.

Warren Feeney made one change from the team that defeated Eastbourne Borough on Easter Monday by bringing in one loanee for another, Leyton Orient’s Dan Nkrumah replacing Dylan Gavin from Charlton Athletic.

In the opening exchanges, Welling had their first opportunity. Christie Pattisson’s clever play on the right wing created the opening and it fell to Kodi Lyons-Foster who hadn’t retreated after a corner had been half-cleared. The centre-back hoped to add to his two goals in recent matches but fired over from twelve yards out.

That proved costly as St. Albans went ahead in their first attack. Kyran Wiltshire split the Welling defence with a through ball that allowed Glenn McConnell to burst through and fire home.

Any hopes that the hosts might have had of Welling folding proved to be unfounded as Feeney’s team took the game to them and might have equalised when Dan Nkrumah cut across the penalty area but shot wide of the far post.

Injuries have been a scourge for Welling in recent weeks and their problems were increased when Rob Howard collided with team-mate Lyons-Foster and had to be taken off for concussion precautions. Sam Cox came on and moved to left back with Aaron Barnes switching to right back.

Although that caused upheaval, Welling continued to ask questions and came close again when more Pattisson skills on the right allowed him to pull back to Stefan Payne and his shot from just inside the penalty area rattled the bar on its way over.

Kai McKenzie-Lyle made routine saves from a Joy Mukena header and a Chay Cooper shot before another Welling chance went a-begging just before half time. Medy Elito was the creator with a great cross that picked out Payne but his close range header flew over.

After the interval, playing up the slope, Welling continued to probe and Nkrumah had a shot blocked wide before a James Dunne effort caused a massive goalmouth scramble that ended with relief for St. Albans after they were awarded a free kick for something that the referee spotted.

It was not all one way, though, and McKenzie-Lyle saved from McConnell before Cooper hit the side netting when meeting a deep cross.

Twenty minutes into the second half, it was the Saints who scored the all-important second goal. Aidan Francis-Clarke picked him out and he finished clinically in the bottom corner.

Feeney reacted by making a double change, introducing Kyrell Lisbie and Ade Azeez to try and find a way back into the match which became more stretched with the hosts dangerous on the break.

McConnell, seeking a hat-trick, had a shot neaten out by McKenzie-Lyle before he hooked over when Welling struggled to clear Devante Stanley’s cross.

Azeez drew a save out of Dylan Berry, then Pattisson’s shot was blocked into the path of Dunne who shot well wide. However, it was the hosts who again drew blood when Mitchell Weiss finished well after breaking down the left.

Although Cox drew an excellent late save out of Berry, it was too little too late and Welling were left to lick their wounds.

Welling United: McKenzie-Lyle, Howard (Cox 27), Barnes, Parry (Azeez 66), Sendles-White, Lyons-Foster, Pattisson, Dunne, Nkrumah (Lisbie 66), Azeez, Elito, Pattisson. Subs not used: Gavin, Andrews.