An inspired goalkeeping performance and three second-half goals from fellow strugglers St Ives Town condemned Kings Langley to a 3-0 defeat and saw them drop below their opponents to third-from-bottom in the Southern League Premier Division.

Having tried, and failed, on several occasions to beat St Ives stopper Tim Trebes, the hosts fell behind in the 54th minute before their fate was sealed by two goals in three minutes mid-way through the half as Steve Conroy’s side dropped below their determined opponents on goal difference.

The first quarter of Saturday’s game was a cagey affair, but then Mitchell Weiss picked out Stevie Ward with only Trebes to beat and the keeper pulled off a superb block and then reacted to smother the rebound.

Kings had signed Matt Ball on loan from Hendon and when he was felled on the edge of the box, it was Trebes again who tipped Sam Tring’s free-kick around the post.

From the corner, the ball was only partially cleared to Tring, whose goalbound shot through a crowd of players was seen late, but once again the in-form keeper was able to keep it out.

The visitors managed their only shot on target when Danny Watson attempted to lob Martin Bennett with a long shot, but it was Kings again who closed the half with another near miss as Michael King’s close-range header from a Ball cross was wide of the post.

The second half was a mere nine minutes old when the visitors took the lead against the run of play from a Declan Rogers corner, played to Peter Clark outside the box. Some quick inter-passing gave Danny Kelly sight of Bennett’s goal and the keeper did well to block his snap shot, but Ollie Snaith was in the right place to net the rebound.

A stunned Langley reacted positively, but again found Trebes the barrier to their aspirations as a flowing move from a Ward run and Gary Connolly cross found King on the edge of the box and his first-time shot was tipped around the post by the keeper.

Ives sent on their own loan signing, Tom Knowles from Cambridge United, and that proved to be the turning point as within five minutes he outpaced Callum Adebiyi on the wing and fired over the advancing Bennett into the far corner of the net.

Kings had seen their second-half curse return to haunt them again and their misery was complete minutes later when another fast flowing move by the visitors ended with Ben Baker’s left-wing cross being flicked on by Knowles for Clark to pick his spot.

A demoralised Kings kept in search of some consolation, but when Trebes finally made a mistake with a miskick, Gareth Price saw a covering defender clear his shot on an otherwise open goal.

But normal service was resumed as the visiting keeper produced another good save from a powerful Weiss shot and an athletic tip over of a goal-bound dipping 25-yard rocket from Ball.

Kings Langley: Bennett; Connolly (Folarin 88), Tring, Johnson, Adebiyi; Coldicott-Stevens (Jung 82), Godfrey; Ward, Weiss, Ball; King (Price 71). Subs not used: Gosling, Collins.