Kings Langley know a point against Hartley Wintney tomorrow will be enough to move them into the Evo-stik South Premier Division South play-off zone after they bounced back from defeat against Metropolitan Police by edging out Wimborne Town 1-0 on Saturday.

Rene Howe’s second-half goal ultimately proved to be enough for Steve Conroy’s men to prevail despite a below-par performance, with the three points moving them level in the table with fifth-placed Poole Town.

Langley remain out of the play-offs on goal difference, but they will move into the top five with at least a point from their game in hand against Hartley at the Sadiku Stadium on Tuesday night.

With Dylan Switters possibly ruled out of the run-in through injury, Conroy moved to bring in former Watford midfielder Connor Smith on a short-term loan from Billericay Town and he went straight into the starting line-up.

Wimborne were first out of the starting blocks and penned their opponents in with attacking wing play that was to trouble Gary Connolly and Charlie O’Keefe all afternoon.

However, Kings still created the first real chance when a Howe chip was met on the volley by Andronicos Georgiou, bringing a good save from Gerard Benfield.

When the Magpies’ prolific striker Tobias Holmes was through on goal though, it looked like the visitors would take the lead, but he dragged the ball wide of both Alex Tokarczyk and post.

The Kings goalkeeper was called into action soon after to bravely save at the feet of Carl Pettefer, and the home side were relieved to reach the interval on level terms as it became apparent that more than half the side were having a collective off-day.

Fortunately for Kings, their central defensive pairing of Jorell Johnson and Callum Adebiyi looked as impenetrable as ever, ably backed up by Tokarczyk.

As the second half started in much the same fashion, it seemed that hitting on the break was Langley’s best option. So it proved, but in somewhat bizarre circumstances, as Smith, finding his debut difficult due to the lack of cohesion around him, put a measured through ball to Howe, whose under-pressure shot was blocked by the body of the advancing Benfield.

Unfortunately for the Town keeper, the rebound spun in a looping arc off his shoulder and fell in apparent slow motion back to Howe, who controlled the unpredictable ball with one touch before driving it between two defenders into the unguarded net.

Wimborne’s frustrations at being behind threatened to boil over, but when their 29-goal marksman Holmes missed a golden opportunity for parity with a header over the bar, he knew that he too was having an off-day and Kings saw out the remainder of the contest with little further drama to boost their prospects of a top-five finish.

Kings Langley: Tokarczyk; Connolly, Johnson, Adebiyi, O’Keefe; Georgiou (Ward 50), Cook, Smith, Putman (Coldicott-Stevens 85); Howe, Weiss. Subs not used: Hitchcock, Collier, Toiny-Pendred.