Kings Langley slipped to another defeat on Saturday – 3-0 – when hosting St Ives Town, who were a place and three points adrift of the home side before kick-off.
The first quarter was a cagey affair before Kings’ Mitchell Weiss picked out Stevie Ward with only Tim Trebes to beat but the keeper pulled off a brilliant double stop.
Kings’ new man Matt Ball, on loan from Hendon, was felled on the edge of the box but it was Trebes who tipped Sam Tring’s free-kick round the post. From the corner, the ball was partially cleared to Tring, whose shot through a crowd of players was seen late, but palmed wide by Trebes.
The visitors managed a shot when Danny Watson attempted to lob Kings’ keeper Martin Bennett but it was Kings who ended the half with a near miss when King’s header from a Ball cross went wide.
The second-half was nine minutes old when the visitors took the lead against the run of play from a corner. Some quick passing gave Danny Kelly sight of goal and Bennett did well to block a shot, but Ollie Snaith finished the rebound.
A stunned Kings reacted positively but again found Trebes in fine form as a flowing move from a Ward run and Gary Connolly cross found King on the edge of the box and his shot was tipped wide.
Ives sent on their own loanee Tom Knowles, of Cambridge United, and that proved to be the turning point as within five minutes, he outpaced Callum Adebiyi on the wing and fired over the advancing Bennett to make it 2-0.
Kings were seeing their second-half curse return to haunt them and their misery was complete minutes later, when another fast-flowing move by the visitors ended with Ben Baker’s left wing cross flicked on by Knowles for Peter Clark to pick his spot on 67 minutes.
A now demoralised Kings kept in search of some consolation, but when a Trebes miss-kick proved him human, Gareth Price saw a covering defender clear his shot on an otherwise open goal, before the keeper resumed normal service with another good save from a powerful Weiss shot and an athletic tip over of a goalbound dipping 25-yard rocket from Ball.
It would be easy to say that Ives took their chances and Kings came up against a superb keeper, but that would be to overlook the fact that the visitors earned the somewhat flattering scoreline with a performance of determination.
Kings, now in the bottom three in 22nd place, were due to travel to Ware last night (Tuesday) in the Herts Senior Cup quarter-final before travelling to second-placed Kettering Town on Saturday.