Stuart Deaton inspired Kings Langley to keep up the pressure on the leading SSML Premier Division teams as they rose to fourth place with games in hand after a 2-0 victory over Cockfosters.
The tall central defender was not only hugely influential in his team’s sixth consecutive clean sheet, he also broke the deadlock 18 minutes from the end with a subtle header from a Connor Toomey corner.
Against a backcloth of fine rain that never threatened to reach the proportions of Saturday’s abandonment, Kings asked all the early questions – the most threatening being a low Mitchell Weiss cross that was bravely smothered by James Cattlin at Daryl Atkins’ feet.
Fabio Valenti showed his pedigree at the other end to fire narrowly wide, but for all their entertaining football, Kings were unable to breach Fergus Moore’s well-marshalled defence.
The visitors then started the second half more strongly; a good chance was spurned when Adem Ali’s control let him down and Kings absorbed the pressure to respond with two superb long range efforts by Dean Hitchcock – the first hitting the post and the second tipped over.
The introduction of Lee Burgoyne, back from injury, took the home pace and pressure up a further gear and it was his fierce, angled shot that was tipped over for the vital corner.
Connor Toomey swung the ball into the box and Stuart Deaton lost his marker to make the header look easy, almost without leaving the ground.
Charlie Crowley did have to make his trademark flying save to preserve his clean sheet, but Kings knew their hard work had paid off and put the icing on the cake when a corner from the left was met by a bullet header from Weiss in the last minute to conclude an absorbing and sporting contest.