Harefield make a point as Kings Langley pay the penalty
SSML Premier Division newboys Kings Langley were pegged back by ten-man Harefield United in a 1-1 draw at Preston Park.
Kings arrived at the game full of confidence and paraded new signings Ollie Cox and Danny May.
They demonstrated a flowing, passing game that had the home team on the back foot, with Nick Jackson’s 16th minute strike ruled out for offside.
But the hard working Jackson was compensated when his left wing run and pinpoint cross gave Benny Fiadzomor the simplest of tasks to open his Kings account four minutes later.
That gave Fiadzomor the confidence to come close on two further occasions, before he and Alex Campana were denied by a superb double save by Ray Francis.
Kings were now in full flow with Cox and Lee Burgoyne orchestrating midfield, but a sudden series of zero tolerance bookings – some for minor offences – changed a lively encounter into an ill-tempered one.
It interrupted Kings’ rhythm to such an extent that they never recaptured their earlier heights, but they finished the half strongly, with the ubiquitous Jackson hitting the post and just unable to convert the rebound.
The second period started badly for the visitors, when Luke Ladyman was adjudged to have fouled Ryan Egan, and Michael Chennells converted the resulting penalty.
They responded with an astute Campana lobbed pass for Jackson to volley just over, but by now Kings – who had received no cautions in the first four games – were astounded to be the recipients of four, while the Hares’ three resulted in a red for Kinnane.
A further bizarre twist saw the referee unable to continue through injury and, after a 15 minute break to usher the assistant to the middle, Kings battered a home defence that valiantly threw themselves into the path of everything.
A summer afternoon had turned to a wet, cold evening; perfectly summing up Kings’ mood as such a bright performance had resulted in two points dropped rather than a point won.