Dean delivers as Kings dig deep to battle past Welwyn Garden City

�Michael Krinke Photography
�Michael Krinke Photography

Welwyn Garden City’s 11-game unbeaten league run was halted at Kings Langley as the home side took the points courtesy of a superb Dean Hitchcock strike.

Langley skipper Gary Connolly and Connor Toomey both failed pre-match fitness tests, but Kings saw Lewis Pritchard go close before the deadlock was broken with 12 minutes on the clock.

Tom Carter jinked across the city defence and delivered the ball to Hitchcock, who unleashed a shot from fully 40 yards out past the transfixed Joe Croft and into the far corner of the net.

Pritchard looked certain to double the Kings advantage after 35 minutes, but Carl Costain did well to deflect the ball off the line.

It was early second half before Welwyn’s 22-goal hit-man Jason Caswell was given his first sight of the target as Craig Preston – making his 200th Langley appearance – marshalled his troops well.

Kings forward Adam Hallissey was twice foiled by Joe Croft and, although Welwyn were enjoying some good spells of possession, they still made little impression on the defence of Preston, Hitchcock and Callum Adebiyi.

The last five minutes did see Langley hearts beating faster as Welwyn’s Sam Perrin missed a header at the far post and a huge clearance upfield bounced over keeper Ant Ladyman and fortuitously over the bar.

But Kings held on to register an important win that highlighted their character and strength in depth.

The victory keeps Kings in fourth place in SSML Division One, and next up for Langley is a trip to Kentish Town for a league fixture on Saturday afternoon.

The game gets under way at 3pm.