A late winner from Nick Jackson was enough for Kings Langley to earn a valuable 1-0 win against Hertford Town on Tuesday night.
Kings faced their sternest test of the season so far as unbeaten Hertford Town started the contest by almost taking advantage of sloppiness in the first couple of minutes.
Fortunately for Kings, the incidents ended in a corner and an offside goal, but they heeded the warning to turn the half into an absorbing encounter where no quarter was asked or given.
The pace was ferocious, the midfield was competitive to say the least and pacy forwards probed for an opening that resolute defences would not allow.
Both sides had shots well held, but a clear chance did not come until the last action of the half when Buffonge cleared Jackson’s header off the line.
Town exerted pressure on resumption, with Tegana James’ overhead kick going close and Jordan Watson bringing an athletic save out of Ant Ladyman, while Kings replied with an Alex Campana break failing to find the target.
A hugely competitive match had taken on a physical edge by now, but sensible refereeing quelled the drift and the result continued to balance on a knife edge.
One goal had always looked likely to settle it and, with eight minutes to go, it was Kings who struck the killer blow.
Danny Hutchins’ cross from the left was headed on by Mitchell Weiss, and Nick Jackson’s bullet header gave Ricketts no chance.
Six minutes of extra time were found, but Langley played them out to Town’s frustration and made a firm statement on a night when the leading trio all lost.