Kings Langley maintained their challenge for the Southern League Division 1 Central title with a 2-0 win over North Greenford United at Gaywood Park on Tuesday night.
The kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes due to the visitors being held up by an accident on the motorway and Kings made by far the better start, passing the ball quickly and dominating possession.
They were without Weiss, Ward, Deaton and Duku, but skipper Gary Connolly was making his first start for four months following injury and Matt Bateman, prolific in the reserves, was drafted in to replace Weiss.
He did the job so well that it was his goal that separated the sides after 90 minutes, while Connolly soon made an impact with a sparkling run and cross that Ryan Plowright was unable to convert.
Glen Yala was showing some pace on the visitor’s left wing and had a fierce shot just over as United struggled to get into the game and it was no surprise when Kings took the lead on the half hour.
A glorious through ball from David Hutton split the defence and gave Bateman time to advance one on one with keeper Lewis Todd, before calmly putting the ball in the far right of the net.
However, for all their neat football, the chance ratio remained worryingly low as the pitch gradually got heavier and began to slow them down.
Whatever had been said to United at the break clearly worked, as they picked up the pace and served warning when Yala headed over a Sandro Costa cross when offside and then Xavi Comas demonstrated why he’d received the supporters’ player of the month award prior to kick off with a truly remarkable tip over from a point blank Charlie Conner header.
It was apparent that Kings were not at their best, but they absorbed the pressure well, sometimes aided by United’s over exuberance when in sight of goal and looked quite capable of holding their advantage, despite a battling and impressive display from the division’s basement boys.
Then, with two added minutes on the clock, Ollie Cole found space on the left and crossed for David Hutton and his volley was met with an outstanding instinctive save from Todd.
Unfortunately for the keeper it fell straight back to Hutton who repeated the shot, this time successfully, to give a final scoreline that was probably harsh on the visitors.
The win leaves Kings sitting second in the table, just four points off table topping AFC Rushden & Diamonds, with a game in hand.