Wade-Slater’s strike gives Kings an important triumph

Kings Langley striker Mitchell Weiss.
Kings Langley striker Mitchell Weiss.

Kings Langley won for the third time this season and edged to within a whisker of safety from the relegation zone when they beat Farnborough 1-0 away in the Southern League Premier Division South on Saturday.

A downpour of biblical proportions started an hour before kick-off and continued in a lesser form throughout a match that was put back 15 minutes to enable ground-staff to try to make the pitch more playable.

In the event, the ball assumed a life of its own as players adjusted to over-hitting passes, knowing the ball would stop to a standstill and any form of running with the ball was fraught with danger.

Kings welcomed the return of Jacob Cook in place of the transferred Elliott Godfrey in midfield and Stevie Ward was put on the left in place of the benched Roy Syla.

The first 20 minutes was understandably flat, as both sides tried to adjust to the conditions, but it was Kings who solved the equation. A low Mitchell Weiss cross just eluded Rene Howe and then Ward was put through only for Sam Mason to save at his feet, while a Cook power shot was well-held by the keeper.

For the hosts, Michael Fernandes had a shot deflected for a corner and Brendan Murphy-McVey curled an effort just wide, but they were rare forays.

The second period began in the same way, but dominating possession and failing to score has become a familiar scenario over the last five matches for Kings and the nagging questions remained as Weiss aquaplaned through a retreating defence only to see his well-hit shot scrambled round the post.

But then, as the clock entered the final third, came the moment that the Kings’ faithful have been waiting for.

A good move down the left that included a couple of first-time passes saw Ward cutting in to lay a square ball across the face of the defence to Luke Wade-Slater on the far right. Electing to control the ball and turn inside the defender seemed risky, but was justified as his rising shot beat Mason for a 1-0 lead.

Apart from a few moments of concern at the death, it was a lead Kings never looked like relinquishing and one to which they could have added to as the luckless Weiss struck a post with five minutes to go.

Although Kings remain in 20th place – the last of three relegation berths – the win moved them to the same number of points as Swindon Supermarine in 19th and within a point of the two teams in 17th and 18th spot.

However, this Saturday Kings host the imperious league leaders Weymouth.