Kings Langley were left to count themselves very hard done by after coming away from their first ever visit to Tiverton Town empty-handed following a 3-2 defeat.

The visitors battled throughout a keenly-fought contest but the double whammy of two highly contentious penalty awards to the hosts was ultimately too big a handicap to overcome.

Both teams went close early on as each strived to gain the initiative, with Tom Bath’s snap-shot going just wide for Tiverton and the visitors countering with a Steve Ward volley just over after being set up by Kieran Turner.

Turner was proving a regular threat to the home rearguard and it was the rangy wide man who broke the deadlock in the 25th minute, latching on to Mitchell Weiss’s knock down and unleashing a thunderous drive that gave home custodian Martin Rice no chance.

It was just reward for Turner’s industry, but Kings’ lead was short lived as just five minutes later Tivvy’s own danger man, Levi Landricombe, found space on the right and cleverly steered the ball past the advancing Martin Bennett to leave the game all-square at the break.

The opening minute of the second period featured the type of match-defining moment that can leave a team in despair and inconsolable in its consequence.

The incident started benignly enough with Bennett moving smartly to field a speculative through ball, which he was always favourite for, with the predatory Landricombe in close attendance. It was clear to all that the Langley keeper gathered the ball cleanly only to be challenged a moment later by the onrushing forward. The impact prised the ball from Bennett’s grasp and diverted to safety. Incredibly, referee Tim Burley saw it differently and awarded a penalty which saw the grateful Landricombe take full advantage with a competent conversion.

It was a real sickener for Kings but to their credit they went in immediate search of an equaliser, with the industrious Turner this time turning provider with a deep cross which found Ward stealing into the box to steer the ball home.

The match continued to ebb and flow as both teams sought the decisive breakthrough.

In the end though, it was another intervention from the referee which was to provide the deciding factor.

Once again, Bennett and Landricombe were the principals as the Kings stopper was adjudged to have impeded the striker outside the penalty area. Burley resisted calls to show a red card but quickly appeased the Tiverton faithful by adjudging the resultant free-kick fiercely struck against the solid but static Manny Folarin merited another penalty award which was emphatically dispatched by the gleeful Landricombe.

Despite the reprise of another perceived injustice Kings continued to battle to the end and Brendan Ocran might have grabbed a dramatic equaliser at the death only to see the ball escape him at the last.

Kings Langley: Bennett; Connolly, Tring, Adebiyi; Folarin (Karagozlu 80), Johnson, Coldicott-Stevens, Turner (Waldren 80); Ocran, Weiss, Ward.