Campana strikes to hand Kings Langley all three points against Hadley
Kings Langley strengthened their position at the top of the SSML Premier Division with a 1-0 victory over Hadley on Tuesday night.
It was a night of mixed fortunes for ex-Hemel Town striker Lewis Toomey on his homecoming to Gaywood Park as he delivered an inch perfect cross for Alex Campana to finally break the deadlock, only to limp off with a pulled hamstring minutes later.
Both teams delivered a high tempo first half of attacking football, but despite that, chances were at a premium - mainly due to extremely competitive midfields.
A well-organised Hadley proved to be one of the best teams Kings have met so far, lacking only a cutting edge up front, reflected by Jermal Baptiste having the only clear chance.
At the other end, there was an opportunity for Toomey and one each for Stuart Deaton and Mitchell Weiss, before Campana hit the angle of post and bar with a free-kick.
The second half was less than 10 minutes old when the defining moment arrived as Weiss – not for the first time – tracked back to dispossess an opponent, and delivered a diagonal wing pass to Toomey.
The striker took the ball to the byline, beat the full-back, and sent a low cross to the feet of the incoming Campana to open the scoring.
Kings duo Tom Carter and Callum Adebiyi were continuing to cause problems on the left, and a superb shot by Weiss was met by an equally superb save from Charlie Mann.
Hadley reacted with a period of pressure; an Ivan Muchado header going just wide before the away striker was denied by a perfectly timed tackle in the box from Jack Pattison when through.
Campana and Weiss again brought top drawer saves from Mann, before Laste Dombaxe hit the bar as the game swung from end to end and the visitors threw everything forward in search of an equaliser.
But the Langley defence - well marshalled by skipper Stuart Deaton - stood firm, and in front of them Lee Burgoyne and Dean Hitchcock played the enforcer roles to perfection.
A great game, a great result for Kings Langley and, on this evidence, a mystery as to why Hadley are currently mid-table.