Kings out of luck against leaders Leamington

Richard Gregory at Kings Langley.
Richard Gregory at Kings Langley.

Kings Langley’s luck continued to be in short supply as they fell to defeat against a strong Leamington side on Saturday.

kLewis Toomey’s return was halted after one game, having rolled an ankle in training, while a highly controversial red card for Lewis Rodrigoe meant they were reduced to ten men against the Southern League Premier table-toppers.

A defensive error gave Immanuelson Duku an early sight of goal, but a recovering defence forced him wide and his shot was comfortably saved, while at the other end his opposite number, Richard Gregory blazed over when well placed.

The visiting striker made no mistake though when a diagonal free kick was headed on and he stabbed the ball past Xavi Comas from close range after ten minutes to put his side ahead.

Ten minutes later, Leamington were awarded a questionable free kick just outside the box and Gregory found the gap just inside the post with a low drive to double the lead.

Comas saved well at the foot of his post soon after as Kings struggled to stay in the game, but they gradually stemmed the tide and a rare attack saw a Duku break and wing pass to Jerry Amoo result in the latter cutting inside and firing just over the bar.

Any hopes of a comeback were severely compromised when Lewis Rodrigoe was given a highly controversial straight red for an alleged high kick that briefly united home and away supporters in their view of the severity of the punishment.

As the second half commenced, Comas had to be alert to tip over a header from his own under pressure defender, but Kings were holding their own, albeit that their attacks were few and far between against the best defence in the division that had conceded a mere 14 times in 25 games.

With 15 minutes remaining, Leamington’s Callum Gittings was involved in an near identical high kick incident that forced Ollie Cox off and the referee had given himself no option but to dismiss the player, although he showed no consistency by awarding a second yellow, followed by red.

Back on level terms in numbers and with the introduction of the pace of Oran Swales, Kings gave the Brakes their first anxious moments as a Jack Pattison rocket was fisted out and both Ryan Plowright and Jerry Amoo were inches away from connecting with low crosses.

But that early switch-off by a defence that was otherwise superbly led by Jorell Johnson and Emmanuel Folarin, was to prove the moment that gave them a mountain to climb.