The cast has changed but still St Albans City slipped to an all too familiar defeat as Truro City condemned the struggling Saints to a third consecutive National League South defeat on Saturday courtesy of Isaac Vassellâ€™s second half goal.
Al Bangura gets a shot away on his debut.
Saints 27-year-old manager Harry Wheeler gave debuts to three players and a home debut to another but the changes could not stop Truro from extending St Albansâ€™ miserable run to a paltry three points from seven games.
The early stages, however, suggested that this latest incarnation of a City side could stem the run of defeats, as they pushed forward with promise only to be let down by a failing in front of goal that has blighted the side all season.
The new-look City line up included Ugo Udoji (on loan from Bromley) at right back, Alhassan Bangura (out of retirement) in midfield and former Concord Rangers striker Michael Thalassitis who is now with his fourth club this season.
Also playing up front, as City went for a 4-3-3 formation, was on-loan Boreham Wood forward Charlie MacDonald on his home debut.
Out from the side beaten at Oxford City the previous week went Jorell Johnson, Jernade Meade, James Comley and skipper Lee Chappell.
Johnson and Chappell were relegated to the bench but there was no place in the squad for Comley.
The England C and Monserrat international spoke of flying out to Sweden for a trial on Sunday (31 January) and added that Maidenhead United are also interested in signing him. The chances of him adding to his 153 City appearances look remote.
For the 13th successive home match St Albans played down the slope towards the Hatfield Road goal during the first half â€“ long gone are the days when attacking down the slope in the second half was the Saints favoured option.
St Albans soon had Steve Tullyâ€™s side on the back foot with former Watford player Bangura going close from 25 yards in the opening minutes.
Theophanous provided a regular threat from out on the left, which is probably not where City had anticipated playing the renowned goalscorer when making him the Clubâ€™s most expensive signing last summer.
Sam Corcoran has been one of few shining lights during Cityâ€™s recent run and the newly-appointed captain quickly made his mark with whipped cross that came to nothing, and then a good ball into the path of Theophanous.
Coming in from the flank Cityâ€™s leading scorer drove the ball across the face of the goal but with only one team-mate inside the penalty area the ball ran away for a goal kick.
Truro had been slow to start but on nine minutes offered their first attacking intent with a move across the pitch that ended with Cody Cooke wastefully blasting the ball out of the ground.
Maybe it was an off-day, but for a side with aspirations of making the end of season play-offs Truro were little more than functional and, after Cookeâ€™s effort, created just two other worthwhile threats to the home.
The first, following an Ollie Knowles cross on 16 minutes after his initial corner had been repelled, saw Matty Jay cushion a pass back to Dan Green. The midfielder struck a bouncing shot towards the back post where Cooke missed the ball from six yards out and St Albans escaped.
Theophanous continued to offer most hope for the Saints and when receiving a short pass from Tom Bender he made light of being held by Mitchell Pierce to come in from the cricket pitch touchline and drive in a powerful shot that â€˜keeper Martin Rice elected to punch away.
Thalassitis pounced on the loose ball but was well shackled by Arran Pugh with Knowles completing the clearance.
St Albans continued to press with Corcoran and Thalassitis combining to find Theophanous.
This time, after moving across the 18-yard line, the City striker dragged the ball back with his right foot and forced Rice to sprawl along his goalline to keep out a left-footed shot.
Playing into piercing late winter sunshine the Saints had a good opportunity to snatch the lead right on half time.
Theophanous dinked a pass down the right touchline and with a delightful back-heel MacDonald sent Corcoran clear.
Sensing that Rice was going down early Corcoran tried to chip the ball into the net but Rice just managed to stretch high enough to claw the ball down and then smother it.
The White Tigers from Cornwall, who received excellent vocal support from the terraces, saw out the second half in much more comfort than they had the first but it was still St Albans who created the better and more numerous openings.
A Truro attack was broken up by Scott Thomas with Corcoran then sending MacDonald away with a clever lofted ball down the City left.
MacDonald cut a good pass back to the on-rushing Corcoran. After being blocked by Jamie Richards, the City captain laid a perfect ball back to Thalassitis who appeared to have one eye on the advancing Richards as he snatched a shot high over the York Road terrace.
Truro showed no such leniency when securing victory on 60 minutes.
A miscued clearance by Rice was touched back by Knowles to Pugh who struck the ball long from midway inside his own half.
Substitute Jake Ash got the better of Bender in a heading duel â€“ it was a rare blemish by the Saints defender who turned in his best performance for several weeks â€“ and flicked the ball into the penalty area.
Ben Martin appeared to have the situation under control but after declining two opportunities to put the ball into touch then failed to control it and allowed Vassell to get goal-side and fire across Welch for his ninth goal of the season.
Five minutes later Jack Green replaced Thalassitis and with 15 minutes remaining Wheeler made a double change with Chappell and Billy Gibson replacing Thomas and MacDonald.
Green had two chances to restore parity but was most unfortunate with his first effort â€“ following a flowing move involving Thomas, Corcoran and a low cross by Theophanous â€“ as the ball hit a divot just as he lined up his shot that then flew high over the goal.
Cityâ€™s final hope of staving off defeat petered out on 82 minutes when Truro defended in numbers to secure a third successive away clean sheet.
Corcoran sprayed an excellent ball out to the left to Chappell who swept a low cross towards the near post.
Greenâ€™s shot thudded into the chest of Aaron Pugh but Theophanous was quickly onto the loose ball and after a couple of twists sent a low, bouncing effort just wide of Riceâ€™s right hand upright.
Truroâ€™s victory leaves the White Tigers side just outside of a play-off position on goal difference and their third victory in the past three meetings with St Albans keeps the Saints firmly rooted to the foot of the table.
As if another defeat was not sufficient to deflate the mood of Cityâ€™s co-owner Lawrence Levy then having to placate a Truro supporter following a row with an over-officious steward at the final whistle will have done little raise his spirits.