STRATFORD Town’s first game for a fortnight ended in a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Kings Langley at a rain-soaked CRY Community Stadium, writes Bryan Hale.
In spite of being without leading scorer Mitchell Weiss, it was the Kings who were the more threatening of the two sides in the early exchanges.
Stratford keeper Louis Connor had to move smartly off his line to smother the ball at Stevie Ward’s feet in the seventh minute followed soon after by Josh Coldicott-Stevens seeing his low drive deflected behind off another Kings player and Kieran Turner firing over from the edge of the penalty area.
Town gradually worked their way into the game and went close to taking the lead on 27 minutes when Edwin Ahenkorah’s shot ricocheted off Arjun Jung and looped over the stranded Kings keeper Martin Bennett, only for the ball to clip the angle of post on its way behind.
But it was the Kings who went ahead on 35 minutes when Gareth Price’s low cross from the right provided Matt Ball with a straightforward finish from eight yards out.
Stratford’s player of the moment Ben Stephens wasn’t far away with a decent effort in the opening minute of the second half, but only a stunning save from Connor on 54 minutes prevented the Kings from doubling their lead as he plunged to his right to beat away a Jung free-kick.
Stephens then hit a Stratford free-kick straight into the Kings’ wall and a cross from Ahenkorah grazed the bar with 20 minutes to go as manager Carl Adams tried hard to rescue a point.
Another fiercely-struck Ahenkorah shot was blocked as the Kings were forced to defend in depth and in numbers, but Stratford couldn’t find a way through and the Kings wrapped up the points with a breakaway goal from Ball in the third minute of added time.