Saturday’s 6-0 scoreline looks an embarrassing one for Kings Langley when they travelled to sixth-ranked Hitchin Town but the visitors were probably the better side for the first 25 minutes.
Hitchin opened the scoring on nine minutes after Connor Vincent latched on to a through ball from Jay Dowie. Kings’ goalkeeper Ross Hampton came out of his goal to close Vincent down and the striker’s shot was cleared off the line by skipper Jorell Johnson. However, the ball duly fell to Charlie Smith, who fired into an empty net from close range.
The visitors battled to level the score but Stevie Ward could not get direction on his shot as he met a deep cross at the far post, while a Kieran Turner shot from a crossfield Michael King pass flew narrowly wide of the post.
Hitchin doubled their lead on 40 minutes when they broke from their own half through Smith and he timed a perfect pass to Trey Charles, who chipped the Langley netminder.
Hampton made a good save from Lucas Kirkpatrick to keep the score down at the break, but after the interval Hitchin piled on the pressure.
Jonny McNamara broke down the left and squared for Charles to add his second on 50 minutes and the winger’s hat-trick followed five minutes later as he tucked home a chipped cross from Smith.
Charles turned provider on 69 minutes as his cross was put away by substitute Elliot Bailey.
Kirkpatrick wrapped up the scoring rout from the penalty spot on 82 minutes after Sam Tring was penalised for a high challenge on Brett Donnelly.
Canaries’ manager Mark Burke said afterwards: “Kings Langley were the better team in the first-half and played some good football.
“We were clinical but we stressed at the break that the lads needed to get on top in the second-half, which they did.”
His opposite number, Kings’ caretaker boss Steve Conroy, agreed that clinical finishing had been the difference on the day, adding that first-half mistakes cost his side as they faced a mountain to climb after the interval.
He said: “I felt we were the better team in the first 25 minutes. Two mistakes meant we came in 2-0 down and the two goals straight after half-time meant that it was a battle to get anything.”
Kings remain in 21st place in the Southern League Premier table after this defeat.
Next up is a crunch home league clash this Saturday where they entertain St Ives Town, who are just a place behind and three points adrift of Langley.