Cinderford pounce late on to sink Kings in clash of the champions

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Cinderford struck late on – thanks largely to the influential Sammie Hicks – to beat Kings Langley 2-0 in the Southern League Division One Champions match.

Hicks grabbed the opener and the Forest of Dean side – the Division One South and West winners – sealed victory through a penalty from Ethan Moore.

Both teams probed earnestly in the first half, with Kings’ David Hutton coming to the fore.

The introduction of Steve Ward for the Division One Central champions, and Hicks for John Brough’s side, gave both teams more potency.

Ward soon set up leading scorer Mitchell Weiss, but his fierce volley was cleared off the line.

In the 65th minute, Weiss, who had enjoyed an ongoing battle with Cinderford centre-back Nick Rhodes, had an opportunity that Rhodes managed to block with the ball about to cross the goal-line. However, Rhodes took no further part in the match, such was the ferocity of Weiss’ shot.

Five minutes later, Ward embarked on a mazy dribble into the box that was thwarted by Cinderford’s Kyle Knott, before Ward set up Hutton, but the skilful midfielder headed just wide.

Hicks was causing no end of problems for Kings and it was the diminutive forward who finally broke the deadlock in the 87th minute, jinking through the visitors’ defence to fire low into the right hand corner.

As Kings pressed for the equaliser, it was Hicks again to the fore as he drew a foul in the box and Moore dispatched the penalty to seal victory for the hosts.

The game was a fitting finale to celebrate both teams’ achievements and was played in an excellent spirit.