St Albans City got back on track with a 1-0 victory at basement side Dover Athletic on Tuesday night – a victory that Jon Meakes felt should have been more emphatic.

Following Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Bath City, Saints secured the three points thanks to Shaun Jeffers’ 17th league goal of the season after 27 minutes.

The victory leaves St Albans in the thick of the race for the National League South play-offs in fifth place in the table, but the club's caretaker boss believed the visitors should have capitalised on a dominant start to the contest and been firmly in control before Jeffers struck.

“To come all the way down and get the result we’ve done today, especially off the back of Saturday, I’m very pleased and the boys are extremely happy,” he said in an interview with the club.

“We said when the game finished on Saturday the important thing was how we started today and I knew if we were on the front foot and we took it to them, in that first 12 minutes we could have scored two or three goals. That was probably the only disappointment that we didn’t get the three goals in the first 12 minutes of the game.”

Herts Advertiser: Jon Meakes was pleased with the response to Saturday's defeatJon Meakes was pleased with the response to Saturday's defeat (Image: Peter Short)

Saints did come under pressure at the start of the second half as Dover sought to get back on terms, but Meakes was pleased with how his charges dealt with this.

“Defensively it was a fantastic performance because we knew they’d come out and have to change something,” he said. “We said in there [the dressing room] we just lost control of the ball.

"We expect teams to come and give us some pressure at times, it’s how we deal with it. We dealt with it because we got a clean sheet, but Jonno’s (Michael Johnson’s) made two good saves but we should have been out of sight – four, five, six goals in the second half.

“Their keeper’s played extremely well, we’ve hit the post as well, so the game should be put to bed, but we weathered the pressure which we expect in certain games, especially away from home, so I’m really pleased with that.”

City made two changes to the side that was beaten on Saturday, with Sam Brown and Dom Hutchinson replacing Dan Bowry and Mitchell Weiss respectively.

The visitors started quickly and Hutchinson saw an early shot pushed away for a corner, before the keeper also kept out a Jeffers header from an Aidan Francis-Clark cross.

Saints continued to seek a breakthrough and it arrived when Hutchinson and Jeffers combined before the latter swept home a low drive to make it 1-0.

Dover responded after the break and Johnson needed to make a superb triple save from a free-kick to keep his side in front.

Although City struggled to reassert their first-half dominance in the early stages after the restart, they always looked dangerous on the counter and Dover’s defence needed to make several last-ditch interventions to prevent their opponents from stretching their lead.

Fortune also favoured them when a Jeffers dummy played in Jack James who saw a fine strike hit both the post and crossbar but somehow stay out.