Kings take cup tie to a replay

Kings Langley defender Jorell Johnson. (File picture by Chris Riddell)
Kings Langley defender Jorell Johnson. (File picture by Chris Riddell)

Kings Langley drew 0-0 with Northwood in the hallowed FA Cup competition on Saturday, meaning the clubs would play again in a replay last night (Tuesday).

After 90-plus frenetic minutes, not lacking in incident, the teams had to do it all again last night at Gaywood Park as the Gazette was going to press.

The goals at both ends lived a somewhat charmed life on Saturday. Kings’ striker Mitchell Weiss had a chance as early as the fifth minute, but was well over with his shot, and he had a close-range header shortly after which Northwood stopper Luke Sheldrick pushed upwards and just got to the rebound as it was about to cross the line.

The keeper also had to be alert when Weiss rifled in another shot that he managed to parry and just beat the incoming Jorell Johnson to the ball.

A Rene Howe volley then fizzed past the post on the 15-minute mark.

But the hosts fought their way back into the tie, starting with a long shot from Ned Clarke going wide, and they could have taken the lead when Kings’ custodian Steve Bourke made a superb stop from James Ewington when the striker was clear on goal.

Kings had the last word of the first-half when a trademark Lee Stobbs free-kick saw the resulting header from Callum Adebiyi strike the junction between post and bar.

As the second period opened Davide Pobbe dallied on a chance created by Howe, but Northwood then had their best spell of the game and Bourke did well dealing with a speculative lob out of the sun which he pushed over the bar.

The tie really warmed up in the last quarter as the game swung from end-to-end.

Langley’s Josh Coldicott-Stevens hit a cross which was missed by all and strolled past the post while an attempted clearance by Johnson hit his own upright and home winger Sam Jenkins saw his cross angle off the bar.

Dean Hitchcock hit a free-kick just wide for Kings and a Weiss dribble into the area was halted by Sheldrick.

While Kings probably took the first-half on points, it was the Isthmian League South Central Division hosts who had a similar claim to the second, putting some late pressure on a resolute defence.

The introduction of Stevie Ward on the right for Kings could have been the game changer when his superb right-wing run and cross two minutes from time found the head of Howe, but the experienced striker put it straight at the keeper.

The final twist was in the tail as a flowing counter attack instigated by Howe saw Weiss square the ball to Johnson with seemingly only Sheldrick to beat, but a superb tackle from the suddenly-appearing Miguel Lopes de Matos saved the day and ensured that history repeated itself from four years ago as this intriguing cup tie stretched to a replay.

If Kings win the replay, they will host either Farnborough or Lewes in the second qualifying round.

After last night’s replay, it’s back to Southern League Premier action this Saturday when Kings entertain second-placed Tiverton Town.