Kings Langley slipped to a 3-2 defeat in their last home game of the season against playoff-bound Weymouth on Saturday in a pulsating encounter with little to choose between the sides.
Kings’ custodian Martin Bennett saved at the feet of Brandon Goodship in the seventh minute, while Mitchell Weiss immediately drew a flying save from the equally impressive Will Dennis.
As the hosts took the game to the opposition, a flowing move involving Stevie Ward and Kieran Turner ended with a Gareth Price shot tipped away for a corner, before Weiss came close on two other occasions as the team from the lower reaches had by far the better of the first half.
Then fortune took a hand as the additional minute of play was entered and Brandon Goodship tried a speculative drive from the edge of the box that took a wicked deflection to sail over the head of Bennet and into the net.
It was harsh on Kings, who had made light of the 17-place gap between the teams and somewhat against the run of play, but it gave the Terras a platform to control the next half-hour of the second period, with the home side finding it hard to make attacking progress, while they were indebted to Bennett for another top-drawer flying save.
Then, with a mere 13 minutes left, the industrious Kieran Turner brought the ball out of defence, played a measured through pass to get Weiss behind the defence on the right wing and his first-time low cross was forced home from close range by Jorell Johnson.
As the game entered its final five minutes of normal time, the scoreline seemed a fair reflection of the match, but Gaywood Park has seen more than its fair share of last-minute goals lately and would do so again.
A Weiss free-kick screamed past the defence but just the wrong side of the post and suddenly Weymouth broke in the 86th minute, the defence blocked the initial danger, but the ball fell to the predatory Goodship who unleashed a ferocious volley that grazed the underside of the bar on its way in.
As Kings threw it all forward in time added on, substitute Harry Baker seemingly beat any offside call to slot past Bennett to make it 3-1 and compound the home support’s anguish, but the never-say-die attitude that characterises this team of late saw a Claudio Ofosu cross stabbed home at the far post by Stevie Ward.
Sadly, it was not enough to reward an extremely good team performance that arguably deserved at least a point.
Kings’ last game of the season is this Saturday when they visit 10th-placed Basingstoke.