A resurgent Kings Langley celebrated a first Southern League Premier Division victory for nearly two months with a workmanlike 2-0 win over Stratford Town on Saturday.

The triumph, secured courtesy of a Matt Ball brace, lifted Kings back above St Ives Town to fourth from bottom and extended their unbeaten run to four games in all competitions.

Arjun June and Gareth Price, who came off the bench to help Steve Conroy’s side battle back to draw 2-2 at Redditch United the previous week, kept their places in the team and new signings Nikolay Minchev and David Femiola were on the bench.

Conroy slightly tweaked the formation to 4-3-3, with Ball in the central midfield role and Kieran Turner returning to the left wing after illness.

Another wet afternoon made good football difficult, but the home side had the first chance when a Josh Coldicott-Stevens drive was deflected just wide.

Ben Stephens netted for the visitors, but was offside, and a deflected shot by Edwin Ahenkorah skimmed the bar. But it was Price who started the move that gave Kings the lead on 35 minutes when his persistence down the right, followed by a low cross, resulted in Stevie Ward’s shot being cleared off the line. The rebound fell to Ball, who calmly lobbed it over the diving defender and goalkeeper and into the roof of the net.

Town missed an opportunity to level within a minute when Ahenkorah found space but dragged his shot wide, but few other chances presented themselves to either side before the break.

The home side’s advantage could have been increased seven minutes into the second half, when a Jung free-kick was superbly tipped \round the post by Louis Connor before a good move involving a Ball back-heal saw Ward graze the top of the bar from an acute angle.

However, as the second period wore on Kings were gravitating to a ‘what we have, we hold’ policy and although Stratford had the best of possession, their opponents’ defensive unit of keeper Martin Bennett, Gary Connolly, Jorell Johnson and Callum Adebiyi, along with Jung on his first start, were coping admirably with everything Town had to offer.

As the contest entered time added and the visitors’ onslaughts became more desperate, Price won a challenge midway in his own half and sprayed the ball out to the newly introduced Minchev on the right. The debutant looked up, saw that he had only Ball, Turner, a defender and the keeper for company and delivered the perfect cross to Ball, who drew Connor into committing and then coolly picked his spot to ensure victory for Kings and a deserved man-of-the-match award for himself.

Kings Langley: Bennett; Jung, Connolly, Johnson, Adebiyi; Coldicott-Stevens, Ball, Godfrey; Ward (Minchev 80), Price, Turner. Subs not used: Hodgins, Femiola, Gosling, Kenny.