Kings just fall short of play-offs

Mitchell Weiss finishes Kings' second goal on Saturday against Frome Town. (Picture by Chris Riddell).
Mitchell Weiss finishes Kings' second goal on Saturday against Frome Town. (Picture by Chris Riddell).

Kings Langley concluded their exciting season with a 2-0 win against Frome Town but ended up falling short of the play-offs by a single point.

Saturday’s home win ensured they ended their campaign in sixth place in the Evo Stik Southern League Premier Division South – the highest finish in club history.

Going into the game, it was still possible for Kings to qualify for the fifth and final play-off place, with Kings needing a win at home against Frome and for Poole Town to slip up at bottom side and already-relegated Staines Town.

Prior to Saturday’s game at the Sadiku Stadium there was a presentation to crowd favourite Callum Adebiyi, who was making his 300th appearance for the club.

Kings then got off to the perfect start on just four minutes against relegated Frome, with Stevie Ward bundled over in the box for a penalty.

Ward got up to convert the spot-kick for a 1-0 lead.

Previous to that, Rene Howe had forced Frome keeper Rob Brown into a good save from a quickly-taken free-kick and it looked as if a one-sided affair might develop.

But Frome dug in and managed to contain the Kings’ inter-passing game to keep the score at 1-0 at the break.

News filtered through that Poole were 5-0 up at half-time to dash hopes of any last-day drama in front of a big Kings’ crowd.

Kings continued to dominate possession in the second-half but without threatening the visitors’ defence.

Langley upped the pace and Jorell Johnson had a header rebound off the bar, while a forceful run through a retreating defence by Howe lifted the crowd before the final angle became too acute.

A frantic season was drifting to an uncharacteristically serene end until the 80th minute when Josh Coldicott-Stevens pulled back a low cross from the right and the predatory Mitchell Weiss made his presence felt in a crowded box to stab the ball home from close rang to give Kings a 2-0 win.

However, Poole reaped the expected three points with a 7-0 win at crisis club Staines to retain the final play-off berth.

So the curtain came down on a remarkable 2018/19 season that saw Kings finish sixth, by far their best position at step three in the football pyramid, and miss the play-offs by just a solitary point.

Whatever the outcome, it has been a hugely successful season for boss Steve Conroy’s team, who started the campaign as relegation favourites in August and seemed to be justifying that prediction up until October, before finding their form and soaring up the table.

Kings were left to reflect on an intriguing season that will go in the history book as one of the most successful ever.