Wapping were unable to strengthen their title ambitions as they went down to a 3-1 defeat to St Albans City in a top of the table clash.

Both sides have been in fine form, but it was Wapping who started the game in the ascendency as they kept possession in the Saints half.

Most of City’s threat came on the counter and they were quick to break up field when given the opportunity, but couldn’t force a breakthrough.

It would be Wapping who scored the opener when Ben Bull earned a penalty corner with a piece of individual skill.

The resulting set-piece was equally inventive as Will Cairns thrashed home a drag flick to leave the St Albans goalkeeper with no chance.

Going behind only seemed to breathe new life into St Albans and they began to work the ball around well and enjoy greater possession as a result.

Both sides started the second half at a frenetic pace as they looked to gain the upper hand on proceedings.

St Albans made the most of the first penalty corner of the second period as Tariq Marcano converted.

Ill-discipline started to seep into Wapping’s play and they were reduced to 10-men, which allowed the Tangerines to pull away.

Their go-ahead goal came from Dillet Gilkes, who finished smartly with a backhand strike.

Mark Lowden then added a third with an opportunistic effort to give them home side breathing space.

Wapping threw caution to the wind late on as they opted to play without a goalkeeper and fielded 11 outfield players.

It was too little too late, however, and St Albans held out for a potentially vital victory.

The Ladies Firsts enjoyed a far more profitable outing as they claimed a 2-0 home win over Norwich.

They set the tempo for the win early on and were the better side for much of the first period.

Wapping’s dominance paid off in the first half, when a succession of scrappy passes culminated in Jenny Allen receiving the ball and turning in.

The decisive second goal took until the second half to arrive when a quickly taken free hit allowed Wapping to find Lucy Todd.

She wasted no time in dispatching the chance to give her side a cushion heading into the final stages of the game.

Norwich tried to find a route back into the game, but were largely restricted a limited number of counter attacks.

The Wapping defence stood firm and were well rewarded with a clean sheet for their efforts.