One week after recording their first National League South win of the season, St Albans City slumped back to square one on Saturday with a thoroughly inept display that allowed Truro City to banish memories of a 6-0 thrashing in their last run out at Treyew Road with an easy 2-0 victory over the Saints.
Ade Yusuf scores but his effort is ruled offside.
City were woeful, there can be no disputing that; one lame effort on-target all afternoon bears testimony to how lacking in threat James Gray and Graham Goldsâ€™ boys were. That is relegation fodder is how Gray described Citys dire performance.
St Albans did have other chances but these, in keeping the rest of Citys play, lacked conviction.
The Saints weakness in attack was demonstrated early on.
Lee Chappell crossed from the left, Darren Locke challenged for the ball that ricocheted up for Ade Yusuff to get a free header on goal, but it was weak and home keeper Martin Rice saved with ease.
As weak as it was, Yusuffs header was the Saints only on-target effort all day â€“ the supporters who made the journey at no small personal cost deserved better than this.
Truro had scored in just one of their previous four home games this season but improved that record on the counter-attack on 12 minutes.
David Longe-King surged down the City right flank but his short pass to Simon Thomas was intercepted by Connor Riley-Lowe some ten yards from his own penalty area.
The left-back played the ball up to Matthew Wright on the halfway line and continued his run down the wing. Wright played the ball left to Cody Cooke who, in turn, fed the overlapping, and completely unmarked, Riley-Lowe who chipped the ball over the diving Joe Welch for an excellent goal.
St Albans, at least to an acceptable degree, competed up until this point but once behind there was scant hope of defeat being avoided.
The 4-3-3 formation drew several complaints from the small band of Saints supporters present but Gray defended this as having been successful when used during the second half at Margate a week earlier.
It failed miserably at Treyew Road. The build up from the back was often slow and ponderous and would then, frequently, be followed by a long punt forward usually, but not accurately, towards the forlorn figure of Thomas.
In all truthfulness, if there was a genuine pattern to the Cityâ€™s play then it would have taken a genius to spot it.
Leading goal-scorer Louie Theophanous was often seen in wide positions or coming deep to glimpse the ball, given the lack of goals from elsewhere in the team this season this was a sure sign that the City were in deep trouble.
As poorly as St Albans played Truro were hardly threatening to take full advantage although a good move down their right flank ended with Dan Greenâ€™s cross being headed away by Ian Gayle, but only as far as Aaron Dawson whose low shot was smothered by Welch.
Truro moved into a two-goal lead on 26 minutes with a strike that caught the visitors napping following a long free kick by Truro skipper Rice.
Wright headed the ball on from out on the right touchline to Cooke. His low cross the edge of the six-yard box was knocked away by Longe-King only for Wright to return a powerful angled effort across the goal that bounced off Dawson at the back post and into the net for his first goal on home soil.
City responded with a promising attack that ended with the unchallenged Yusuff heading wide from a James Comley cross.
Comley saw a lot of the ball during the opening 45 minutes but whether his radar was faulty, or there simply was little good movement in front of him, the Saints were unable to benefit from his undoubted quality and influence.
Comley was booked for a foul on Rob Farkins just before half time, it looked as though frustration had got the better of the England C international, but video evidence showed that he was, in fact, most unfortunate to get a yellow card for a pretty innocuous collision.
Ten minutes after the restart St Albans made two changes with Gus Sow, surprisingly playing much deeper than usual and thereby reducing his effectiveness, and Thomas replaced by Jack Green and Lewis Hilliard.
Green went to the right flank and Hilliard to the left.
Green had an early opportunity to make an impact when Comley threaded a delightful ball through the Truro defence but the 18-year-old declined to shoot with his left foot and conceded possession in attempting to tee up Theophanous.
Truro showed no such inhibitions when Riley-Lowe cut the ball back to Duff who tested Welch with a first time effort that the keeper gathered low down.
St Albans did get the ball in the net when Yusuff broke away and slotted home through the legs of Rice but linesman Robin Cox deemed that the striker had originally come back from an offside position following Welchâ€™s long clearance.
Young Green was in the thick of the action several times as City enjoyed their best spell of the match and supplied the cross from which Hilliard sent a gentle volley bouncing harmlessly wide.
City had a narrow escape when a deflected near post cross by Pierce Mitchell was brought down by Duff whose point blank poke was kicked off the goal-line by Chappell. The ball thudded into Locke who just managed to hack the loose ball away as Duff moved in for the kill.
With the Saints best spell long since consigned to history Truro had several chances to inflict further harm on their guests but put three headers over the bar from corners.
There was glimmer of hope for St Albans late on when Rice fumbled a Chappell corner but Hilliardâ€™s ball back into the goalmouth was blocked at the expense of a corner.
With the three remaining sides below them in the table all losing St Albans stay in 19th place, but any further performances such as this will soon see City deep in relegation trouble.
On Monday night, 14 September, City are back in action when Basingstoke Town, 21st in the table and beaten 5-1 at home on Saturday, are the visitors to Clarence Park. Kick off is at 7.45pm.
City will be without Ian Gayle following the end of his loan, Ben Martin is thought to be unlikely to be available, so James Comley could well rejoin Darren Locke in the middle of the defence.