Kings Langley picked up a point when hosting 15th-ranked Basingstoke Town on Saturday.
After the spectacular Herts Senior Challenge 3-0 upset victory over Hemel Town in midweek (see p54), this league clash on fireworks weekend was more of a damp squib.
Paul Hobbs fielded an unchanged team apart from the return of Kieran Turner with Jay Karagozlu returning to the bench after his midweek full debut.
Kings keeper Martin Bennett was in action after ten minutes, when he dived to tip a deflected Ben Wright free-kick round the post and then denied the same player when he looked to have broken clear.
The hosts responded with a 30-yard free-kick from Brendan Ocran that was held on the line at head height by Town netminder Colm McAdden and a couple of efforts from range by Turner, but it was Wright who came closest when his shot hit the underside of the bar.
But suddenly a drab match was brought to life when Ocran cut in from the left and unleashed a shot which took a wicked deflection to leave McAdden wrong footed and give Kings a 1-0 lead.
Bennett had to be alert to protect that lead with a flying save from Sam Smart, but the break arrived with the home side looking comfortable.
The visitors upped their threat level in the second half, but a combination of sound defending and poor finishing kept Langley in the driving seat as a fairly unentertaining game ground its way towards the finishing line.
Both teams fell short of a crisp inter-passing game and seemed intent on putting the ball in the air as much as possible, but it appeared Kings had done enough to achieve a third consecutive home win after breaking the hoodoo.
But as the 90-minute mark came up on the clock, Smart twisted and turned on the far side of the box and Callum Adebiyi laid a forbidden hand on his back as he was turning away from goal and the winger duly fell to the ground, leaving the referee no alternative but to award a penalty.
A storybook ending would have seen Bennett’s fine display rewarded with a penalty save, but Wright’s spot-kick was coolly dispatched, leaving Kings’ players to lose their composure and pick up three late bookings as the match ended with the loss of two much-needed points.
Kings were due to be back in action again in the league cup 2nd round last night (Tuesday) when hosting Hitchin Town and then this Saturday travel to fifth-ranked Weymouth.
Kings Ladies U18s
A humdinger goalfest at the weekend saw Kings Langley Ladies U18s eventually triumph as 6-5 winners.
They found themselves 3-0 down and facing an uphill struggle after just 20 minutes .
Kings got one back through Abbey Williams to get back into the game but Harvesters scored again to restore a three-goal margin with a header from a corner.
Hannah Dickins netted for Kings to make it 4-2 at half-time.
Chloe Underwood scored straight from the kick-off to start the second-period, then added another to level the scores at 4-4 with just 12 minutes left.
Harvesters edged ahead yet again 5-4 and the Kings’ girls thought they had lost it.
But Sophia Citro had other ideas and she levelled to make it 5-5 and then shot a remarkable winner in the last minute of the game amid great celebrations for an exciting 6-5 Kings victory.