Kings Langley returned from local rivals Dunstable Town with all three points in a 2-1 win on Tuesday night.
This match was a tale of the unexpected and a classic candidate for the clichéd tag of a game of two halves!
With Jerry Amoo unavailable, Kings made one change, Lewis Rodrigoe returning after suspension and Mayo Balogun switching to left midfield. For the first 40 minutes they were unrecognisable as the team that had performed so well in the previous two matches, having only a decidedly ordinary Ryan Plowright shot on target to show for their efforts.
The home side had employed a close marking game plan that shut down the visitors before breaking quickly and they deservedly went ahead on the half hour when a Danny Talbot shot hit the bar and David Longe-King netted the rebound from close range.
Kings’ passing and ball retention failed to improve, but conversely Town failed to convert their apparent superiority into chances as the half dragged on.
With three minutes to the break, everything changed. David Hutton played the ball wide right to Steve Ward, who made progress down the wing, playing a one-two with Hutton and swept into the box, under close attention from Gedeon Okita.
Instead of the expected cross, his shot from an acute angle was nestling in the far corner of the net before a crowded box could readjust and Kings were back on terms with their first real passing move of the half.
Mayo Balogun had a goalbound shot blocked before Kings came back out with the switch finally turned fully on, to dominate the first 15 minutes of the second period.
Steve Ward had a header saved by Jack Smith, but when David Hutton took a free kick far left, the keeper was powerless to prevent a deftly timed Jorell Johnson glancing header from scything into the net.
Manny Duku went close with two headers from crosses provided by Steve Ward and Dean Hitchcock and linked well with Lewis Toomey, who entered the fray just past the hour after a lengthy lay off through injury.
Indeed, the latter looked to have extended the lead with a shot on the turn, only to be denied by an instinctive Smith save. Xavi Comas continued his confident form, tipping a late volley over the bar, but Kings never looked like loosening their grip on a game that could be said to have produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance from both teams.
Kings host Banbury on Saturday.