Kings Langley were cruelly denied victory at Slough Town on Saturday as the hosts fought back to level at 2-2.
Following the announcement of the appointment of Paul Hobbs as manager for the rest of the season, Kings produced another battling display to take third placed Slough Town to the brink of defeat at their impressive new stadium.
There was a return between the posts for Xavi Comas and the Spanish custodian produced a man-of-the match performance as Kings struggled throughout the first half to get to grips with their hosts’ 3G artificial pitch.
A mere five minutes had elapsed when Comas finger-tipped away a James Dobson Cross and he was in the thick of the action for concentrated periods in the first half, including holding a Lee Togwell shot and a Charlie Moore effort on the line.
The pattern continued as the second half got under way, with a superb Comas block from close range from Moore, but Kings were growing in confidence as parity continued and looking dangerous on the break.
As homefans’ anxiety increased, the moment they had feared duly arrived, as the visitors delivered the sucker punch. Jerry Amoo collected a poor clearance wide right and in one movement fired a spectacular shot over Mark Scott and into the far netting.
If the Rebels thought that was bad, it got worse as David Hutton, noting that the keeper had begun to take up an increasingly forward position on the edge of the box, collected a pass and with options right and left, went for a perfectly judged 40 yard placement over the keeper and into the net.
The referee was by now on a mission to deliver as many cards as possible prior to Christmas, and finished with a tally of ten yellows and one red, which totally failed to reflect the nature of the game and frustrated both teams.
With ten minutes of normal time to go, Kings were in sight of a shock result, but Slough threw everything forward and despite the heroics of the Kings rearguard, substitute Warren Harris finally forced the ball home through a mass of bodies in the 89th minute.
This prompted officialdom to indicate six minutes of added time, during which a cynical block to halt a Manny Duku break resulted in the dismissal of Rebels’ Mark Nesbit. Six minutes had stretched to seven when Slough won a corner, threw everyone including keeper forward and Moore somehow found space in the crowd to sweep the ball home.
Disappointment for Kings as the whistle finally went on nine, but also elation on a good form result and a performance of character on which to continue to build.
Kings host Biggleswade Town on Tuesday, November 22 before a home tie in the FA Trophy against AFC Sudbury.