SSML Premier Division table toppers Kings Langley too good for Hadley

Alex Campana opened the scoring for Kings Langley. Picture (c) Chris Riddell
Alex Campana opened the scoring for Kings Langley. Picture (c) Chris Riddell

Kings Langley strengthened their grip on the SSML Premier Division top spot with a performance of pace and power that proved too much for Hadley.

Kings employed a high back line, marshalled by Stuart Deaton, as well as a high speed pressing midfield, which was typified by Lee Burgoyne.

At the spearhead of things, the creativity of Nick Jackson and a ruthless front pairing gave the home defence nightmares.

The tide reaped dividends as early as the 10th minute when Alex Campana received the ball on the edge of the box, latched straight on to the rebound of his blocked shot, slalomed through a hesitant defence and found the far corner of the net.

With 25 minutes on the clock, a similar run into the area caused panic and a desperate challenge from behind, allowing Danny Hutchins to fire in his sixth penalty conversion in as many matches.

This is a statistic that represents a staggering turnaround after Kings were only awarded two spot-kicks in the first 40 matches.

Laste Dombaxe nearly reduced the deficit with a back-heel, but Kings continued to put on an exhibition until the break, after which they seemed to have eased up for a 10 minute period.

Dombaxe had the ball in the net, but he was offside, and it proved to be the lull before the storm as the visitors turned on the power again.

Hadley had made the courageous decision to switch to a back three and it began to be exploited by Kings’ attacking trio – culminating in Campana blasting a shot goalwards.

The composed Jackson uncharacteristically sliced the rebound, but Mitchell Weiss stooping to head in from close range.

Five minutes later, the same player took a long through-ball in his stride, outpaced the defence and beat Charlie Mann with a powerful shot that typified his emergence as a top striker this season.

Hadley were gracious in defeat, but never looked likely to take Kings to the wire as they did in last month’s tight encounter at Gaywood Park.