Late goal sends excellent Kings through in FA Trophy
Caretaker boss Paul Hobbs and teenage debutant Jerry Amoo formed a significant part of a superb all round team display that saw Kings go through to the next round of the F A Trophy against the odds.
Enfield Town brought a large following, encamped with purple balloons behind the Kings’ goal and they were vocally matched at the far end by the Kings Junior Ultras, who seem to grow in numbers each week.
Langley were without leading scorer Lewis Toomey, but the blow was softened somewhat by the return of David Hutton to the number 10 spot, with Immanuelson Duku moving forward to the striking role.
The opening 15 minutes were unsurprisingly tentative, given the rewards of finance and prestige on offer and while Enfield had the better of possession, it was Kings who created the first chance when Stevie Ward produced a right wing power run and shot that Nathan McDonald did well to parry.
Rebounds produced a diving Manny Duku header and a Josh Chamberlain shot, but both were also blocked on the line. Town responded with a Harry Ottaway header off target, a Scott Schulton opportunity past the post and a Bobby Devyne acute shot skimming the upright, but Kings continued to look the more dangerous on the break and a glorious David Hutton through ball saw Stevie Ward denied by another brave block from McDonald.
A minute to go to the break in an intriguing encounter and then a damp grey sky apparently fell on Kings hopes as Jack Pattison, already booked by the referee, attempted a rash challenge and was given a second yellow. The pendulum appeared to have swung Enfield’s way, but Paul Hobbs’ revised tactics saw the ten men attack from the restart with McDonald again called into action to save a Hutton strike, and a Connor Toomey shot on the turn, before seeing Ward and Chamberlain go close and Hutton hit the bar.
Town’s belief in the natural order of numeric superiority was visibly shaken by this 15 minute onslaught, but when they did hit back with a succession of corners, it was to strike the bar and see Gary Connolly clear a shot off the line.
Danny Boness had earlier pulled off a flying save from Devyne, but in truth he was so well protected by Connolly, Toomey, Jorell Johnson and Emmanuel Folarin that it was the only serious save he had to make. Fifteen minutes to go and Paul Hobbs gambled by sending on 19 year old Jerry Amoo, signed two days previously, to add some pace, but as the minutes counted down, Kings were finding it difficult to break out. Could they hold on for a replay on equal terms?
Two minutes into time added on and danger threatened again when Amoo gave away a free kick 25 yards from goal. And then the fates intervened, as Kier Dickson made a hash of the kick, Amoo intercepted and broke clear to cross the halfway line.
Relief had turned to hope as he bore down on the lone figure of McDonald and hope to ecstasy as he calmly slotted the ball past the keeper.
A collective breath was released by the crowd as the ground erupted, half in joy, half in despair, and as the final whistle sounded 90 seconds later, Kings knew they had added a page to the history book, one that will be long remembered by all those that witnessed it.