Welling United fell to defeat at the hands of play-off hopefuls St Albans City on Saturday, despite an encouraging performance at the Mozzarella Fellas Stadium.
Warren Feeney’s men had the better of much of the game, but fell foul of a number of missed chances, while their hosts proved clinical at the other end.
The Wings came out of the traps quickly and went on the front foot, applying pressure early on.
After a dangerous Medy Elito free-kick caused problems for the hosts’ defence, the resulting corner was eventually worked out to Christie Pattisson, who laid the ball on a plate for Kodi Lyons-Foster, who could only only fire over from 10 yards.
But despite a promising start from the visitors, it would be St Albans who would take. The lead with their first attack of the afternoon after seven minutes.
A swift, flowing move forward ended with the ball being dummied by Shaun Jeffers for Glenn McConnell to place his finish into the net.
Despite going behind, Welling continued to look the better side and came inches away from a leveller when Daniel Nkrumah sent a good-looking effort whistling just past the left-hand upright, while Stefan Payne came even closer just before the half-hour mark when he smashed an effort off the crossbar.
In truth, the Wings could well have found themselves in front come the break, but just could not convert those all-important chances and it was summed up deep into first-half injury-time when Payne missed a gilt-edged opportunity.
Medy Elito stood the ball up for the forward in the box, but unmarked and six yards out, he nodded over the bar.
Welling continued to impress immediately after the break as they looked to find a leveller with James Dunne seeing his effort well blocked in a crowded box after Berry had made a critical intervention to prevent Pattisson’s cross reaching Nkrumah six yards out.
For St Albans’ part, they had largely been limited to half-chances with Kai McKenzie-Lyle batting away McConnell’s volley from the edge of the box, while Chay Cooper hit a volley harmlessly into the side-netting from a tight angle.
But for all of Welling’s enterprise in the first 65 minutes, it would count for nothing, with the hosts grabbing a second with 25 minutes left to play.
O’Connell was the scorer again, securing his brace with a well-placed shot from the edge of the box which nestled in the bottom left-hand corner.
That second goal would somewhat knock the stuffing out of the Wings as St Albans saw out the game with their clean sheet intact.
Substitute Ade Azeez tested Berry with an angled drive, while Sam Cox forced a finger-tip save from the keeper with a decent effort from the edge of the box, but the home side added gloss to, what was probably a somewhat harsh scoreline, with a third on 79 minutes.
Sub Mitchell Weiss was played into the left-hand side of the box and he finished across McKenzie-Lyle for 3-0.
With three league games left to play, attention will now turn to a Kent Senior Cup semi-final clash at Chatham Town on Tuesday evening.
St Albans City: Berry, Stanley, Francis-Clarke, Wiltshire (Smith 80), Adebiyi, Blackman (Dawson 73), Jeffers (Weiss 67), Mukena, Moore, McConnell, Cooper.
Subs (not used): Banton, Neal.
Booked: Blackman 19
Goals: McConnell 7, 65, Weiss 79
Welling United: McKenzie-Lyle, Howard (Cox 27), Lyons-Foster, Sendles-White, Barnes, Parry (Azeez 67), Dunne, Elito, Pattisson, Payne, Nkrumah (Lisbie 66).
Subs (not used): Andrews, Gavin.
Booked: Howard 23 (foul on Moore), Payne 36 (foul on Berry), Nkrumah 64 (foul on Stanley)
Referee: Lewis Sandoe