Kings Langley booked their place in the semi-finals of the St Mary’s Cup with a 4-1 victory over Dacorum neighbours Leverstock Green on Tuesday night.
The St Mary’s Cup is a West Herts invitation charity competition and is one of the oldest in the country; indeed, Kings Langley first won it in 1892 and latterly in 1972.
In entertaining neighbours and old rivals Leverstock Green, Kings handed a full debut to 17-year-old Oran Swales and there was a welcome return between the sticks for Ant Ladyman.
Early chances fell to Matt Bateman, one of which was a header straight at Liam Jahn, but at the other end Green’s Ashley Addison had a chance blocked, retrieved the ball and was denied when through by a saving tackle from Gary Connolly.
As an entertaining contest reached the quarter way point, Swales delivered a well-placed lob at the end of a run that Jahn tipped onto the post.
But within a minute a Jack Stevens through-ball following a quick-free kick saw Bateman finish powerfully to open the scoring.
Green responded with Lewis Cruwys bringing a full length save from Ladyman, while Kings could have gone further ahead when Lorenzo Ferrari failed to convert a Bateman cross.
That looked costly when a through-ball gave Ollie Buckley the chance to slot home the equaliser, but parity lasted just two minutes as Swales picked up a pass from Hutchins on the right wing and unleashed an audacious 20-yard strike into the far corner of the net.
The second half saw an edge creep into the game as Kings upped the pace, possession and number of attacks, making a triple substitution on the hour.
Stevie Ward was always going to torment tiring legs and when a typical run through four defenders resulted in a trip in the box, Danny Hutchins maintained his 100 per cent penalty conversion record.
Jahn pulled off a superb one handed save from Ward, but could do nothing about a Manny Duku free kick from 25 yards in time added on as Kings booked an away semi-final meeting with another old rival, Sun Sports.