Lacklustre St Albans City sunk by Dipo and Welling United

St Albans City took on Welling United at Clarence Park in a National League South fixture.

St Albans City took on Welling United at Clarence Park in a National League South fixture. - Credit: Archant

Two goals from old boy Dipo Akinyemi gave Welling United a 2-1 win and sunk St Albans City further into the National League South mire.

When you are in the predicament Saints find themselves in they are all must-win games but when you play a rival in the relegation battle and you are at home then that statement gains a little more gravitas.

Akinyemi's brace put Welling two-goals to the good and even though Joe Iaciofano pulled one back there never looked like being anything else for the Clarence Park crowd to celebrate.

The result doesn't drop Saints into the bottom two thanks mostly to heavy defeats for Chippenham Town and Hungerford Town below them.

But it wasn't a performance that inspires confidence for the remaining months. At this rate it looks like any survival will be more by luck than judgement.

Ian Allinson had brought in two youngsters on loan from Watford and he handed one, Lewis Gordon, a debut in place of the injured Tom Bender.

The game began with a bang and to be honest it should have begun with a goal for Welling.

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Aaron Cosgrave got in on goal but after taking it around Dean Snedker he seemed to hesitate before pulling it a cross the empty net and wide.

Hesitation also prevented Saints from taking the lead with a chance that was clear cut as you will ever get.

A poor back pass was compounded by a sliced clearance from goalkeeper Daniel Wilks that fell to the feet of David Noble.

The experienced Saint got himself into a right muddle though and the chance eventually fell to Joe Iaciofano.

He steered it wide.

The rest of the half saw little in the way of chances and contained a bit of strange juxtaposition.

On the one hand Diaz Wright and Cameron James in the centre of the Welling midfield had far too much time to pick their passes and the fact they didn't utilise that to its maximum was a blessing for the hosts.

However, on the other side of the coin was that City had plenty of the ball, more than they seemed to have enjoyed for many games this season.

The problem they didn't do anything with it and certainly didn't create chances of note, one good cross from Lewis Gordon aside that Romoney Crichlow-Noble had to clear before Sam Merson pounced.

The delivery wasn't always perfect though but then again there was a lack of movement and support from those in yellow shirts.

The goal was an example of pouncing when the opportunity presents itself.

A corner from the right should have been cleared but it dropped kindly for Akinyemi and he rifled a powerful effort low into the net.

Not taking opportunities that came their way was the problem for Saints in the opening 15 minutes of the second half.

If anything they had even more possession but a succession of corner came and went and one good chance for Scott Shulton went begging after a delayed pass and a bobble on the pitch.

Welling had almost made them pay with a ball across the area that was inches away from the out-stretched legs when they did take a 2-0 lead.

And it was a beauty.

Akinyemi had options as Welling launched a quick counter-attack but he opted to use none of them, simply launching it from 25 yards up and over Snedker, although there was a suggestion afterwards that it took a deflection..

That looked to be game over but City gave themselves a lifeline with Iaciofano poking it home from close range three minutes later.

It should have been the platform for a continued assault on the Welling goal but it wasn't.

Instead Snedker twice had to keep them in it, saving first from substitute Korrey Henry and then combining with Shulton as a scramble developed on the edge of the six-yard box.

The expected onslaught only arrived in the last five minutes but it never looked like bringing an equaliser.

Even five minutes of added time failed to bring a chance. It will need to be much better in the future.

St Albans City: Snedker, Fielding, Clark, Kaloczi, L.Gordon, Sundire (Nwaboukei 46), Noble, Shulton (Louis 80), Banton, Iaciofano, Merson (R.Gordon 80).

Subs (not used): Diedhiou, Vasilou.

Goal: Iaciofano 69

Welling United: Wilks, Dymond, Johnson, Crichlow-Noble, Joseph, Wright, Cook, James, Akinyemi (Coombes 81), Goldberg (Roberts 86), Cosgrave (Henry 67).

Subs (not used): Krabbendam, McCullum.

Goals: Akinyemi 28, 66

Booked: Crichlow-Noble 46, Cook 87

HT: St Albans City 0 Welling United 1

Attendance: 754

Referee: Joel Mannix (Watford)