The clouds continue to hang over Kings Langley after Gosport Borough – bottom of the table and pointless – travelled to Gaywood Park and escaped with a morale-boosting draw.
In a bemusing first-half last Tuesday, the home side attacked constantly, virtually setting up camp in their opponents’ half, but when Gosport keeper Matt Caffer tipped a Mitchell Weiss header over the bar in the third minute, it was to set the tone for the evening.
Weiss had a shot saved soon after and then hit the bar with a diving header, while a Callum Adebiyi cross caused consternation and was cleared off the line.
The striker then came even closer when he beat Caffer only to see the ball hit the inside of the post followed by a clearance off the line again.
A Jorell Johnson header just over from a free-kick provided further frustration before Borough finally mounted their first serious attack in the 37th minute.
A combination of luck, good goalkeeping and poor finishing kept the visitors in the mix until half-time, but Kings made a quick-fire start to the second period and broke the deadlock within 80 seconds.
Mitchell Weiss’ through ball allowed Gareth Price to beat Caffer at last.
Surely Kings would now power on to their first league win since August 15? But fortune has not favoured Kings lately and they were dealt another blow on the hour when debutant keeper Charlie Hasler was fed a short back pass and his brave save at the feet of the incoming Iffy Onwuachu resulted in his taking no further part in the game.
With no keeper on the bench, right-back Gary Connolly went between the sticks and though he was to perform well in the unfamiliar role, Kings’ fragile confidence was suddenly in evidence as Borough sensed that they may have been handed an unlikely lifeline.
Indeed, the deputy netminder was to see more action in 15 minutes than the previous custodian had in an hour and his tip over the bar from an Ashton Leigh free-kick was quality.
However, the resultant corner led to a scrimmage in which Matt Buse forced the ball a foot over the line before it was cleared and the visitors were ecstatic.
A shocked Langley resumed the onslaught and Price and Weiss put three chances inches the wrong side of the post.
Three minutes into stoppage time, Price was brought down in full flight a yard outside the box by Caffer.
The keeper was sent off with a straight red card, giving the unusual sight of outfield players in goal at both ends, but it was too late for Kings to take advantage and the teams’ contrasting reactions to the final whistle said it all.
The draw leaves Kings in 21st place in the league.
Kings had no game on Saturday and were due to be back in action last night (Tuesday) at Thame United in the Challenge Cup as the Gazette was going to press.
On Saturday they then host sixth-placed Redditch United in the league.
Meanwhile, in other club news, the Kings Langley Ladies under-18s are enjoying considerably more success.
They continued their great start to the season at the weekend with their third win in succession, beating Harvesters FC 4-2 in the cup.
The Kings Ladies are currently top of the table in the league and by beating Harvesters are through to the next round of the League Cup.
A hat-rick from Chloe Underwood and goal from Lacey Blake secured the win over Harvesters.