Kings Langley picked up an excellent point at high-flying Kettering Town on Saturday, days after interim manager Steve Conroy was confirmed as the club’s first-team boss on a permanent basis.
After last week’s poor performance against fellow basement-battlers St Ives, Kings restored some pride with a resolute display of resilience and determination against second-ranked Kettering.
In front of a large crowd, Kings got off to the worst possible start when Aaron O’Connor lashed home a Lindon Meikle pass after seven minutes.
The Poppies were dominating play, with O’Connor seeing his shot cleared off the line by Jorell Johnson and Kings’ keeper Martin Bennett blocking the same player’s shot.
But gradually, Langley grew into the game. Paul White in the home goal had to pull off a good save from a Michael King shot after good work by Stevie Ward and a Johnson header was cleared off the line.
The back-four grew in confidence and the whole team kept their shape and stuck to the game plan.
As the clock ticked down into added minutes, it was Kings throwing everything forward and Arjun Jung and Mitchell Weiss earned a corner. Elliott Godfrey swung the ball over into a pack of bodies and under pressure from Gary Connolly and Callum Adebiyi, striker Rene Howe brushed the ball into his own net.
The point leaves Kings in 22nd place, level on points with St Ives in 21st. This Saturday Kings travel to 15th-ranked Redditch United.
In midweek, Kings eased into the semi-final of the Herts Senior Cup after a 3-0 win at Ware. The goals came from Adebiyi, recent signing and man of the match Matt Ball and Gareth Price.
Speaking about Conroy’s appointment, the club said on Friday: “Steve was an integral part of the previous management team which brought a great deal of stability to the club during a challenging first season in the Southern League Premier Division.
“He comes with a wealth of experience and exemplary credentials borne out of a highly successful playing and coaching career in the upper echelons of non-league football. The club have every confidence in Steve’s ability to further enhance the team’s development.”
The club also announced the appointment of Liam Walsh as manager and coach of the club’s under-18s midweek floodlit team.
Liam takes over from Danny Perman who managed the team on an interim basis but now steps down due to personal commitments. The club thanked Danny and former manager Alan Beeton for their valuable contributions.