Kings Langley gave out their Christmas presents early on Saturday as they fell to their heaviest league defeat since October 2011 – 5-0 on a rain lashed afternoon at Merthyr Town.
After a couple of Manny Duku shots on goal in the first five minutes had given the visitors a positive start, they were caught out by a left wing cross from Ian Traylor and a simple looping header by the unmarked Ryan Prosser.
Things got worse on the half hour when an ill-advised throw out saw a Kings player robbed on the left touchline by Adam Davies and the latter’s cross tapped in by Kayne McLaggen. Then a static defence watched as a dangerous low cross was flicked in by McLaggen to double his tally.
The Martyrs, unbeaten at home this season, continued in control after the break and on the hour mark Jonny Munday was adjudged to have blocked off a forward and a penalty given.
Xavi Comas did well to tip the resultant spot kick from Prosser round the post and although the artificial pitch was beginning to cause slippage for some of the players, it seemed possible that they could exercise damage limitation.
Despite Kings still offering very little in attack, struggling to maintain possession in midfield and with a defence on the rack, Prosser and Traylor spurned two good chances, thus maintaining a 3-0 scoreline into the last minute of normal time.
Then Traylor was presented with the ball in central midfield and although his first shot was blocked by the efforts of Comas and Jorell Johnson, the ball fell kindly for him to lob the rebound into the net.
Four minutes into time added on and another defensive mistake on the right flank this time, allowed Corey Jenkins time to pick out an isolated Ben Watkins for the fifth.
This was a poor performance, leaving Kings flirting with the Southern League Premier relegation zone, but this team have shown tremendous spirit and character over a turbulent last few weeks and will no doubt be eager to demonstrate a return to form in the last four games of 2016.
They host Leamington on Saturday and visit Stratford on Tuesday, December 20.