AFC TOTTON put up a valiant display but couldn’t quite live with the might of St Albans City in a 4-2 Southern Premier Division defeat at Clarence Park tonight.

The second-to-bottom Stags held their own in a goalless first half against a Saints side who had lost just one of their previous 13 league games and moved up to fifth on the back of last night’s win.

John Frendo – who scored four times in St Albans’ 5-2 win at the Testwood Stadium in September – had a 22nd-minute header well saved by Stags keeper Steve Mowthorpe, while Luke Roberts produced the pick of the Stags’ first-half chances, firing a 25-yarder just over.

Even when on-loan Barnet striker Jamal Lowe broke the deadlock shortly after the break, Totton found a quick response with Luke Roberts touching home Liam Hibberd’s free kick.

But by the time Roberts struck again at the death, following up Alex Moth’s parried drive with a header, St Albans had established control.

Three goals in 13 minutes did the damage courtesy of ex-Arsenal man Kerrea Gilbert, Frendo and a Lee Chappell corner which hit the post and rebounded in off Mowthorpe. Nevertheless, it was another encouraging performance by Totton’s young braves to take into Saturday’s tough home fixture against second-placed Chesham.