A bid to take maximum points from their fifth consecutive away game ended in failure for Kings Langley on Saturday as they went down 3-1 at Barwell.
But once again Kings were the better side and only had themselves to blame for spurning golden opportunities, writes Roy Mitchard.
Brady Hickey got into a good position for Barwell on three minutes, but his weak shot was saved, while Kings’ Eoin McKeown shot wide when set up by Mitchell Weiss.
Weiss demonstrated his predatory talents to give Kings the lead in the 13th minute when a block tackle and raking diagonal ball by Kane Farrell set him onto a three-way chase with a defender and keeper Sheridon Martinez to reach the ball first and lift it over the net man with power into the far corner of the net.
With Charlie Ruff supplying a range of passing from centre midfield, Kings looked to build on the lead, but Dominic Brown-Hill got Barwell a surprise 26th minute leveller when he deceived the defence to go through a crowd and edge the right side of the left post.
The Farrell/Weiss combination came into play again, but this time Martinez made a smart save and the striker’s powerhouse run resulted in a square pass to McKeown, who missed from close range.
Both sides put faith in the long ball, but Kings closed the half with a Callum Adebiyi rocket superbly tipped round the post by Martinez. From the corner, a Jorell Johnson header should have restored the lead, but went wide.
The long ball dominated the second period and when Adebiyi got his close-range shot horribly wrong after the impressive Henry Eze made a rare mistake in Barwell’s defence, the feeling grew that Kings would be made to pay for their profligacy.
So it proved, when a long throw-in from Cain Thomas that had troubled Kings all match, was converted by Hickey in the 62nd minute, Kings knew they were on the receiving end of a mugging.
They looked to salvage a point, despite a heroic clearance off the line by Johnson, but when Harry Crawford’s fierce shot drew a great save from Martinez and a Roddy Collins piledriver was cleared off the line by Jamie Towers, the writing was on the wall.
Omotolani Omotola broke to round Kings’ keeper Melvin Minter in the third minute of injury time to further rub salt into the wound and give a flattering final scoreline for the day.
This Saturday Kings return home to host Isthmian League South Central side Barking in the FA Cup first qualifying round.