Kings Langley’s bid to continue to close in on the play-off places ended in disappointment at a rain-soaked Sadiku Stadium last night as Metropolitan Police strengthened their top-five position with a narrow 2-1 victory.

Following Saturday’s 1-0 win over Merthyr Town, Steve Conroy’s side went into the match defending a 10-game unbeaten home record and they were on track to extend that when the in-form Mitchell Weiss headed the hosts into an early lead.

However, the fourth-placed visitors were to be in front by the interval through goals from John Gilbert and Luke Robertson, and they retained their advantage until the end thanks in no small part to the efforts of goalkeeper Berti Schotterl.

The defeat means Kings remain seventh in the Southern League Premier Division South, three points behind fifth-placed Poole Town with a game in hand, albeit with a vastly inferior goal difference.

Gary Connolly and Dylan Switters returned to the Kings starting line-up but it was their opponents who got off to a quick start as they demonstrated the pace of Gilbert and Jonathan Hippolyte down the wings, the latter putting in a shot at the end of a surging run that was diverted for a corner.

However, it was Kings who struck the first blow with the game only five minutes old as Stevie Ward put the ball out to Rene Howe on the right and his cross was given extra height by the merest of deflections, to be met by a towering header from Weiss for his third goal in as many games.

A Howe volley from a Callum Adebiyi run and cross was deflected for a corner as the home side looked to extend that lead, but suddenly the complexion of the game changed as a Blues move across the face of the defence arrived at Gilbert on the left and his shot through a crowded box to caress the inside of the post was a masterpiece of threading the ball through the eye of the proverbial needle.

The game opened up even more as two confident teams battled it out for the advantage with a dazzling Andronicos Georgiou run and shot palmed round the post by Schotterl.

But the goal that was to settle the match had an element of fortune about it as an Ethan Chislett free-kick seemed to be held by the leaping Alex Tokarczyk, only for him to collide with the post. The resultant scramble ended with Robertson prodding the ball home to leave Langley chasing the game.

The conditions worsened in the second half, not helping the Langley cause, as they dominated possession with their opponents confident of soaking up the pressure.

The chance the home side had waited for duly arrived as the hour approached, but with Georgiou sent through by Weiss and the former found that Schotterl was equal to his effort, blocking the shot.

As Kings tried everything in the closing minutes, the German keeper was outstanding, making a flying save from a Weiss shot before a deflection sent Lewis Putman clean through, only for Schotterl to come out on top of a one-on-one for a second time, deflecting what seemed to be the equaliser for a corner.

The stern tests keep coming for Kings as they visit third-placed Salisbury on Saturday.

Kings Langley: Tokarczyk; Connolly, Johnson, Adebiyi, O’Keefe; Ward (Ofosu 80), Cook, Switters (Putman 70), Georgiou; Howe, Weiss. Subs not used: Schmid, Coldicott-Stevens, Collier.