Kings Langley increase their lead at the top with victory over battling Hoddesdon

Alex Campana, left, was on target again on Tuesday night. Picture (c) Chris Riddell
Alex Campana, left, was on target again on Tuesday night. Picture (c) Chris Riddell

Kings Langley strengthened their grip on the SSML Premier Division title with a 3-2 victory over Hoddesdon Town on Tuesday night.

Kings raced into a 3-0 lead with goals from Tom Carter, Alex Campana and Nick Jackson, but they were made to sweat late on as Dan Udoh and Kevin Metivier pulled goals back for the visitors.

It was too little, too late for Hoddedsdon, though, and Kings held on to increase their advantage at the top of the table to a massive 13 points with only nine games of the season left to play.

After a very poor run in the new year, Hoddesdon have shown signs of revival lately and they took the game to Kings from the start of this encounter, more than holding their own in midfield and showing enough pace up front to keep the defence busy.

Kings had the first chance, though - Reece Buck palming over a Mitchell Weiss shot – and they drew first blood when Carter finished a left wing run by cutting inside and unleashing a fierce shot into the far netting.

That was to be how it remained until the interval, with little to choose between the teams, who seemed to have a mutual agreement that a hard, dry pitch was not to be trusted and resorted to keeping it the air as much as possible.

The second half was minutes old when Kings suddenly shook off this malaise, showing just why they are top of the league with two goals in three minutes.

Weiss seized onto a blocked shot, slipped the ball to Campana, and he made no mistake with a low angled shot to make it 2-0.

The scorer turned provider by popping up on the other wing and delivering a teasing cross to the head of Weiss.

His effort beat Buck, but was cleared off the line and fell to Jackson, on the edge of a well populated box. The skipper delivered a spectacular volley that powered into the goal, and Kings were cruising.

Lee Burgoyne hit a post soon afterwards, but Town dug in to show the fighting spirit that had typified their first half performance and got behind the home defence, who were perhaps looking for the offside.

Kings still had time to close ranks, but the lively Udoh was rewarded for a night’s high work-rate, by picking his spot to close the gap.

A free-kick on 90 minutes resulted in Metivier coming forward to net from close range and set home hearts briefly pumping, but Kings closed to take the points without reaching recent heights.