Kings Langley had a day to forget in Wales when going down 4-1 at Merthyr Town on Saturday.
With a squad depleted by injury and unavailability, Kings never got going and were playing catch-up from the very first minute when Ryan Prosser’s powerful header was blocked on the line, only for home captain Ashley Evans to force the ball home.
That early strike set the tone and Merthyr proceeded to dominate with Ian Traylor providing a regular outlet on the left for their attacking initiatives. Traylor was only denied increasing the hosts’ lead by a great double save from Kings’ keeper Martin Bennett.
Kings briefly rallied and Mitchell Weiss had a good effort blocked and from the rebound Kieran Turner extracted a fingertip save onto the bar from teenage keeper Ed Hewitson.
In the 35th minute Kings were given a golden opportunity to restore parity when Gareth Price was pushed in the box but Steve Ward’s resultant spot-kick was saved.
The reprieve spurred the hosts and a quick-fire double from Prosser just before half-time gave Kings a mountain to climb at 3-0.
In the second period the home side’s regular incursions continued to stretch the King’s defence.
In the 65th minute Kings introduced 16-year-old Ed Toiny-Pendred from the subs bench and the youngster made an immediate impact, setting up Price for a snap shot which Patten did well to block.
Just minutes later the teenager’s contribution was to prove even more significant when he combined well with Weiss to allow the striker to burst clear of the defence and finish adroitly into the bottom corner.
Any thoughts of an unlikely comeback were quickly dispelled as the hosts again restored their three-goal advantage via Jarrad Wright.
This Saturday Kings have their penultimate games of the season when they entertain high-flying third-placed side Weymouth.
They then end the term at Basingstoke Town the following weekend.