It was hard to know what pleased St Albans City manager David Noble more - the come-from-behind win at Hemel Hempstead Town, the performance and goal from the fit again Zane Banton and the way the entire team played.

Saints won 3-2 in the National League South game on New Year's Day having been 2-0 down after 12 minutes.

Banton pulled one back before half-time and then Shaun Jeffers equalised just past the hour.

The winner came two minutes into stoppage time from Sam Brown to make some amends for the Boxing Day loss to the Tudors at Clarence Park.

Herts Advertiser: St Albans City celebrate Sam Brown's winner in front of their fans. Picture: JIM STANDENSt Albans City celebrate Sam Brown's winner in front of their fans. Picture: JIM STANDEN (Image: Jim Standen)

In truth Noble was delighted with all three but there was special praise reserved for his former team-mate, back after suffering an injury on the opening day of the season.

"I thought Zane was superb," said Noble. "He scored the goal but he created numerous opportunities in that first half for other people.

"His goal was just typical Zane Banton. He gives us that something different, someone who can create something out of nothing and who can look after the ball.

"He played one-twos and clever little passes.

"As the second half went on, his legs obviously started going and he said he felt a little bit one-paced.

"But to get 80 minutes out of Zane is all good for the future."

Hemel had threatened to run away with the contest when George Williams scored twice, the first after a through ball by Joe Re and then from a free-kick, after a foul by Dan Bowry on the edge of the box. 

But other than that spell, Saints were worthy winners according to Noble.

He said: "We lost Boxing Day and we wanted to get our own back and we managed to do that after a very slow start.

"We've lost a couple this year after being 2-0 up so it's a good way to win.

"It shows the spirit among the boys and at the club and shows the heart they have.

"It was a slow start, 2-0 down after 12 minutes but bar those first 12 minutes, it was a really good performance.

"Maybe nerves play a part before but there shouldn't be any once you cross the white line.

"We knew they would start fast but to concede the goals in the way we did, a runner went and there was nobody near them and then a direct free-kick, it was a difficult start.

"But the lads showed great resilience and heart.

"We looked after the ball better and we moved them around, we made it very difficult for Hemel.

"Before Zane scored we had five or six shots at goal but we kept the pressure on."

The victory moves City up to 11th and attention now turns to a home game with Farnborough on Saturday.

There too Noble wants to see a reaction to a previously poor performance, the game at Cherrywood Road in October.

The boss said: "We were terrible against them last time and it could have been a lot more than 2-1.

"This is a chance to put that right and win another game of football.

"I don't see any easy games at this level, every game is difficult."