Dean Barker expressed his pride in his players after Kings Langley made a dream start to life in Southern League Premier Division with a memorable 3-0 triumph at promotion favourites Nuneaton Borough.

It has been a summer of change at the Sadiku Stadium with new committee members, a new management team while the club kicked off in a new division after being moved sideways from Premier South.

There have also been a number of changes to the squad and six new signings made their debuts on Saturday, helping to deliver a result to savour as Kings claimed an opening day victory for the first time since their promotion to the Southern League.

Speaking afterwards, a delighted Barker said: “A great win for everyone involved in the club today. I’m so proud of all the players to come to the title favourites and to totally dominate was brilliant to see. A fantastic start to the season.”

Kings took the first 10 minutes to settle against some pacy forward play and a 60 mph wind. When they did finally put Boro under pressure it was to devastating effect as Charlie Ruff robbed a hesitant defender and his shot cannoned off the post, rebounding to Matty Campbell-Mhlope, whose effort was cleared off the line.

This was to prove a brief respite for the home team though, as from an ensuing corner, Mitchell Weiss rose above a static defence to head home Kane Farrell’s cross and open the visitors’ account.

The wind was making life difficult for both teams, but when Nuneaton’s Devon Kelly-Evans followed a driving central run with a powerful shot, debutant keeper Melvin Minter flew full length to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Kings could have doubled their advantage by the break, but made a complete hash of things when keeper Cam Belford missed a routine low cross, leaving Eoin McKeown with the goal at his mercy. The player contrived to hit the post, the ball fell to the equally unmarked Jorell Johnson, who slipped at the vital moment and his team-mate’s second shot hit his grounded colleague.

The half finished with a quality attacking inter-passing move ending with a Weiss shot just over the bar, but Boro thought they’d equalised just after the resumption when Stuart Beavon wriggled through the defence only to see his low shot kept out by a late save from Minter.

A powerful break by Weiss saw him evade some strong attention to beat Belford but his shot was blocked on the line, while Minter was in action again to just get a hand to a shot on the run by Callum Powell.

However, the defining moment of the match arrived on 72 minutes. Both defences had had to rely on huge upfield clearances to relieve pressure and beat the wind and it seemed to be just one more when Adebiyi launched the ball forward from his own half. But this one looked special from the moment it left his foot and it sailed majestically over the back-pedalling keeper and under the bar to become an early season contender for goal of the season.

With Kings’ back five in outstanding form, there was no way back for the home side and their bad day was compounded when a poor back pass allowed substitute Harry Crawford to beat Belford to the ball and steer home the third.

A miserable afternoon for the hosts was completed in injury time when Nigel Julien was shown a straight red card for a poor challenge on Josh Coldicott-Stevens.

Barker’s side will be hoping to build on this victory when they travel to Peterborough Sports tomorrow night.

Kings Langley: Minter; G Connolly, Johnson, Adebiyi, Farrell; Collins, Coldicott-Stevens; McKeown (Hercules 80), Ruff (Crawford 74), Campbell-Mhlope (Ward 60); Weiss. Subs not used: Collier, Alfano.