Kings Langley dropped two points in their pursuit of the Southern League Division One Central title as a missed penalty from David Hutton proved costly in a 1-1 draw with mid-table Godalming Town at Gaywood Park on Saturday.
Not for the first time this season, the weather was hugely influential as the sides had to contend with gale force wind conditions.
The result was an extremely poor first half; a rebounded clearance fell to Matt Bateman, but he was unable to convert the only clear chance of the first 45 minutes.
A double substitution by Kings saw the introduction of the grit of Dean Hitchcock in central midfield and the pace of Steve Ward. The duo began to inject some quality into the proceedings, while the visitors adopted a shoot-on-sight policy through Will Hutton.
It was the wind that helped to break the deadlock when Mitchell Weiss, drifting to the left wing, unleashed a shot that suddenly and unexpectedly flew past a static Oneal Garnes and into the top far corner of the goal.
Kings’ joy was short-lived, however, as Hutton duplicated the opener two minutes later, albeit from a more central position, when his lofted shot sailed over the advanced Xavi Comas and into the net.
Hutton was encouraged to try his luck on further occasions, two of which tested Comas, but the home back four of Stuart Deaton, Connor Toomey, Callum Adebiyi and Emmanuel Folarin were coping well.
The next moment of note came when Hitchcock’s probing lofted through-ball was met by Matt Bateman, only for the young forward to be taken out in full flight by Godalming keeper Oneale Garnes.
After a two minute delay for the injury, and with the wind teasing the ball on the spot, the yellow-carded Garnes guessed right to save David Hutton’s nervous penalty.
Apart from a shot by Town’s Piers Oldland and a header by Kings’ Lorenzo Ferrari – both just wide – the game petered out to leave the wind the only winner in a frustrating encounter.