Kings Langley moved to within one win of the Southern League Division One Central title with a 3-1 win at North Greenford United on Tuesday night.
On an evening when the other two title contenders both registered victories, Kings kept their noses in front by condemning a hard working Greenford side to relegation.
Mitchell Weiss put the visitors ahead just before half-time, but United hit back with a 65th-minute equaliser from George Moore.
Langley were not to be denied, though, and earned the win late on with goals from Danny Hutchins and Connor Toomey – meaning a victory at Petersfield Town on Saturday will hand Kings the title.
They will have to battle hard for their third successive promotion, however, if Tuesday night’s game is anything to go by.
Despite a good opening spell by Langley, in which keeper Lewis Todd was kept busy punching over a Dean Hitchcock shot, saving a Toomey header and almost carrying a Gary Connolly free kick over the line, their nerves began to show as they failed to make the vital breakthrough.
Long balls from both teams became the order of the night and far too many passes went astray as goalmouth incident decreased at both ends.
Then, three minutes before the break, came the moment of magic that Kings had prayed for as Toomey’s run on the left wing saw a low cross to Weiss on the edge of the box.
With one movement, the striker killed the pace of it with one foot, turned on a sixpence and struck a low shot past Todd with the other foot. United were bridging 21 places and matching their opponents in all but the opposition penalty area, and their best chance looked likely from a set piece as Moore demonstrated when he was inches wide with a powerful free-kick early in the second half.
The flashpoint came on 64 minutes when another long ball deceived the advanced Xavi Comas and he was adjudged to have blocked Glen Yala in the race for the ball.
This resulted in a yellow card for the keeper, an unerring free-kick from Moore into the back of the net, and a red for Kings’ joint-manager Ritchie Hanlon for his complaints to the official.
With the outcome in the balance, the defining moment came 14 minutes later, when a penalty was awarded by the referee for a push in the box by Ruddock Yala on Kings’ Emmanuel Folarin.
This sparked scenes that caused a two-minute delay before Hutchins calmly crashed home the spot kick with his usual aplomb.
The keeper resumed his conversation with the official and was sent off and Kings seemed content to play out time.
Toomey, who’s dual with Samuel Addae was a feature of the evening, had other ideas though and chased down two clearances to add a third from an acute angle through the narrowest of gaps.