It was with great sadness that Kings Langley took to the field on Saturday in their 3-1 win over bottom side Staines Town.
Emotions were running high for Kings who saw their normal gate more than quadrupled as over 1,000 people attended the Sadiku Stadium to remember and pay their respects to club official Matt Allcock, who tragically passed away after last Saturday’s game at Weymouth.
Matt collapsed suddenly sometime after attending the Weymouth fixture and could not be revived.
The club said in a statement last week: “Our hearts go out to Matt’s family at this time of loss and sorrow.
“Matt was known and loved by everyone at Kings Langley. His untimely passing, at the age of just 46, has been deeply felt by everyone at the club and the community beyond.
“Matt was an inspiration to us all with his boundless enthusiasm in support of the club and he, more than anyone, has done so much to engender the spirit of togetherness and camaraderie that exists throughout the club today.
“Matt will forever be fondly remembered by so many within our community. He will be hugely missed by everyone’s life he touched.
“Rest assured that a permanent reminder will feature prominently at Kings Langley in commemoration of Matt’s selfless devotion to our club.”
As a mark of respect the club postponed their home game against Salisbury last Tuesday.
The occasion on Saturday seemed to affect the hosts and the first-half was a flat affair with Kings spurning the few chances they created and Staines defending in depth. The highlight was a fierce shot by new signing Andronicos Georgiou superbly tipped over by Town’s Louis Dixon.
The deadlock was finally broken on the hour as Gary Connolly, seeming to tire of the stalemate, surged forward down the right and fed Mitchell Weiss whose pulled back low cross gave Georgiou time to coolly drive the ball home.
Three minutes’ later Weiss broke from the halfway line, put the ball round a defender and passed unselfishly to give Rene Howe the easiest of conversions to double the lead.
Howe could probably have had a hat-trick with more accuracy, but to their credit Staines stuck to the task and were rewarded with a low drive from Luke Wright finding the corner of the net with ten minutes left.
Kings quickly replied when Weiss deservedly had the last word with a solo run from the halfway line, scything through the defence and slipping the ball past Dixon to seal the victory that Kings so wanted to dedicate to an absent friend.
The Kings’ victory moved them into seventh place in the Southern League Premier Division South table.
The club were due to be in action again last night (Tuesday) as the Gazette was going to press when they were hosting 19th-placed Basingstoke Town.
Kings then travel to mid-able Poole Town on Saturday.