Kings Langley’s play-off fate remains in their own hands, but their cushion is not as comfortable after they suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to Swindon Supermarine.

Having worked so hard to get into the top five with victories in their previous three matches, Steve Conroy’s men produced a strangely lacklustre display on Saturday against a Swindon side that attacked from the off and again demonstrated that, whatever lofty position a team has reached, there are no routine opponents in the competitive Southern League Premier Division South.

Kings still have a three-point lead over sixth-placed Poole Town with four games of the regular season remaining, but they will need to improve this weekend when they travel to third-placed Taunton Town.

The visitors had the ball in the net as early as the seventh minute, with Harry Williams netting at the far post from an offside position, but the pressure continued from a lively forward line, led by the vastly experienced Stuart Fleetwood and the prolific Conor McDonagh.

This continually stretched the home side and it finally reaped its reward on the 20-minute mark when a Jamie Edge corner was headed home by Matt Williams.

The midfielder popped up again 15 minutes later with another header, but this time the post intervened and Kings breathed a sigh of relief.

It wasn’t until the 40th minute that Langley were able to threaten Marine’s goal when Rene Howe put a header over the bar from a corner and half-time couldn’t come soon enough for the home side to regroup.

The home side did improve after the break and almost gained parity when an Andronicos Georgiou corner was headed back across goal by Jorell Johnson and Callum Adebiyi’s powerful header was just over the bar.

It was to prove a costly miss, as almost immediately Marine broke and a McDonagh cross was rifled home with apparent ease by Matt Liddiard to put them firmly in the driving seat.

Kings made a double substitution, bringing on leading scorer Mitchell Weiss and loan signing Rohdell Gordon, but it was Georgiou who was taking the fight to the opposition with some telling crosses and a scything run and shot that was just wide of repeating his superb goal against Hartley Wintney 10 days previously.

It was harsh on Kings then when a touchline tackle ruled him out of any further part in the game and it fell to Gordon to rouse the home crowd with an electrifying wing run and cross, after Weiss had been just off target with a header.

Kings were handed an unlikely lifeline when the visiting defence got themselves in a tangle and Howe played in Jacob Cook for him to reduce the arrears, but it was really a case of too little, too late as Marine held out for the points.

Poole scoring a last-minute winner to move within three points and the news that Georgiou will probably miss the next few games finished off a disappointing day, but play-off participation still remains firmly in Kings’ hands.

Kings Langley: Tokarczyk; Hitchcock, Johnson, Adebiyi, O’Keefe; Ward (Gordon 58), Cook, Smith, Putman (Weiss 58); Howe, Georgiou (Coldicott-Stevens 69). Not used: Syme.