Kings Langley’s FA Trophy adventure ended with a 3-1 defeat to AFC Sudbury on Saturday.
Kings started this Third Qualifying Round encounter in a hurry. Stevie Ward put a header from a Jerry Amoo cross against the underside of the bar from close range as early as the second minute, before Jamie Calvin had a shot beaten away by Marcus Garnham from a corner soon after.
Amoo was proving a handful on the Kings’ left flank and got in several telling crosses as the home side created the most chances throughout the half, forcing Sudbury into several last-ditch blocks.
But it was the visitors who took the lead against the run of play a minute before the break with a stooping Luke Callander header from a corner.
Kings came back out with all guns blazing and were back on terms within three minutes, when an inswinging David Hutton corner from the left received a glancing header from Jamie Calvin for his second goal in successive games.
This was almost immediately followed by another Amoo cross that Manny Duku met perfectly with a towering header, only to see Garnham leap to tip the ball over the bar.
Kings continued to threaten and looked the more likely to edge ahead in the tie, but Sudbury gradually weathered the storm and on the hour mark produced an interpassing midfield move that gave Dylan Williams a sight of goal from 20 yards out and he found the corner of the net with unerring accuracy.
This proved to be the turning point as the flow of confidence had changed hands and Kings’ play became ragged, while Sudbury sensed victory and went on to produce a left wing run, finished with a shot by Callander ten minutes later, to effectively wrap up the proceedings.
A late consolation looked likely when successive Calvin and Duku goalbound shots were blocked, but there was to be no repeat of ‘The Enfield Miracle’ in the last round as Sudbury efficiently ran down the clock.
A bright spot for Kings was a sound debut at left back by Lewis Rodrigoe, signed from Berkhamsted in the week, but at the end of the day the loss of five first choice players through injury and suspension rendered this a bridge too far and an enjoyable Trophy run was over for this season.
Kings visit Dunstable Town in the Southern League Premier on Tuesday. They host Weymouth on Saturday and then welcome Tring in the Herts Senior Challenge Cup on Tuesday, December 6.