Kings Langley showed only sporadic glimpses of their recent good form as they slumped to a 4-0 defeat at play-off contenders Royston Town.

Steve Conroy’s men had triumphed 1-0 over their Hertfordshire rivals last month, but they were decidedly below par on Saturday.

The Kings boss made two changes from the starting line-up that had secured a creditable draw at Banbury United with David Femiola coming in for a first start in place of the injured Max Fraser and Josh Coldicott -Stevens being restored in midfield.

The home side’s last outing had been that away defeat at Gaywood Park and they were clearly in the mood to avenge that reverse, being quickly on the offensive with the direct running of Rohdell Gordon making regular inroads down the flanks.

The early home pressure generated several dangerous situations but last ditch defending and competent keeping by Martin Bennett initially kept the hosts at bay.

However, a breakthrough was looking increasingly inevitable and it duly arrived after 17 minutes when Adam Marriott bundled the ball home from Sam Corcoran’s cross.

Kings almost restored immediate parity when a superb header by Mitchell Weiss was blocked on the line but this turned out to be a rare highlight for the visitors.

Indeed, only a superb goalline clearance from Jorell Johnson kept Kings in the game as the hosts finished the half very much in the ascendancy.

The introduction of Steve Ward after the break increased Kings’ attacking potency and from one of his trademark dribbles Claudio Ofosu brought an impressive save out of Josh Tibbetts.

The visitors’ renaissance was short lived though, as minutes later following a short corner, Daniel Brathwaite was on hand to tap the ball home after Kings failed to clear.

The result was put beyond doubt in the 65th minute when Marriott scored his second of the match with a fine low drive into the corner which gave Bennett no chance.

There were brief cameos for youngster Harrison Kenny and Gareth Price from the substitutes bench as Kings sought to salvage something from the game, but despite their best efforts it was their opponents who produced the last significant action of the match.

Fittingly, it was the industrious Gordon who provided the finale. The pacey wide man cut in from the left and fired a low shot into the left hand corner of the net to complete an impressive individual performance and put the icing on the cake of a thoroughly deserved victory, leaving Kings to reflect on a very bad day at the office.