Kings Langley maintained their challenge for the Southern League Division 1 Central title as they earned a hard-fought 2-1 win at Ware on Saturday.
Without a home game for six weeks, Ware worked hard to get a heavy pitch playable, but slipped to a sixth consecutive defeat against a Kings side who are establishing a rhythm, recording their third consecutive win for the first time this season.
Ware survived a dominant opening 10 minutes from Kings, before Langley keeper Xavi Comas blocked a strong shot from home skipper Murat Karagul.
But Kings upped the tempo and went close when Stevie Ward surged down the wing, cut inside and shot just past the post.
David Hutton came closer still as the chance ratio increased, but the visitors finally made it count just past the half hour mark.
Immanuelson Duku – drafted in for the prolific Mitchell Weiss – was eager to make an impact and, when he put an overhead kick out to the path of Hutton on the right wing, the latter’s floated cross was perfect for the striker to head home from close range.
Kings looked comfortable in their lead, despite a back header from Eliott Bailey well tipped over by Comas.
But, eight minutes into the second half, the heavy pitch deceived Callum Adebiyi, who slipped, allowing marksman Kieron Bishop to slot the ball past the keeper to level the scores.
Langley took the setback in their stride, however, and having been forced to introduce Lorenzo Ferrari for the impressively hard working Connor Toomey at half-time, they pressed forward in search of a second goal.
Ferrari began an aggressive run down the right wing, culminating in trying his luck with a fierce angled shot.
Tom Coulton parried the ball at the near post, and the rebound fell well for Hutton in a crowded box, with Coulton again doing well to block his shot.
However, the ball came straight back to Hutton and this time the man of the match was not to be denied, as his fierce shot flew through the pack and into the net.
Ware laboured hard for parity again, but Kings came closest to adding to the scoresheet.
A Duku free-kick was acrobatically tipped over and a Ryan Plowright shot scraped the bar, as the visitors efficiently closed the game out and coasted home to rise to fourth in the table on a day when the top two both lost heavily.
Next up for Kings is a home clash with Chalfont St Peter on Saturday afternoon.