Dean Barker admitted Kings Langley came up short in both penalty areas as their bid to extend their unbeaten start to the Southern League Premier Central to a fifth successive away game ended with a 3-1 defeat at Barwell on Saturday.

Pitch renovation works at the Sadiku Stadium mean Kings have yet to play a game at home this season, but they would have been hopeful of continuing their positive start to the campaign when Mitchell Weiss opened the scoring in the 13th minute.

However, that was as good as it got for the visitors and they were left to regret not capitalising on several fine opportunities to secure the points.

Barker was philosophical after the defeat though, and said: “In all honesty five straight away league games and all of pre-season on the road was always going to be a tough start so I’m really pleased with how we have embraced the situation.

“It wasn’t quite good enough in both boxes today despite playing very well at times during the game.

“All good teams have blips so I’m looking forward to our response in training this week ahead of our FA Cup game at home to Barking on Saturday.”

The Leicestershire side had the first opportunity after three minutes when Brady Hickey got himself into a good position but his weak shot was comfortably saved, while Eoin McKeown fired wide at the other end when set up by Weiss.

However, it was Weiss who demonstrated his predatory talents to give the visitors the lead in the 13th minute when a block tackle and raking diagonal long ball by Kane Farrell set him onto a three-way chase with accompanying defender and advancing goalkeeper to not only reach the ball first, but to lift it over Sheridon Martinez with power and into the far corner of the net.

With Charlie Ruff supplying a range of intuitive passing from the centre of midfield, Kings looked set to build on that, but Dominic Brown-Hill got the home side back into the game with a surprise goal 13 minutes later that deceived the defence to go through the crowd.

The Farrell-Weiss combination came into play again, but this time Martinez pulled off a smart save and then the striker’s powerhouse run resulted in a square pass to McKeown, who missed the target from close range.

Both sides were now putting their faith in the long, high ball tactic, which didn’t provide the best of entertainment for the crowd, but Kings closed the half with a Callum Adebiyi rocket superbly tipped round the post by Martinez and from the ensuing corner, a Jorell Johnson header should have restored the lead, but was wide of the mark.

The long ball was now dominating the second half, but as Adebiyi got his close range shot horribly wrong after the impressive Henry Eze made a rare mistake in defence and presented him with an opportunity, the feeling grew that Kings would be made to pay for their profligacy.

So it proved, when the long throw from Cain Thomas that had troubled Langley all afternoon was converted by Hickey and the visitors knew they were facing a first defeat.

They still looked to have the firepower to salvage a point, despite a heroic clearance off the line by Johnson, but when Harry Crawford’s fierce shot drew a superb save from Martinez and a Roddy Collins piledriver was cleared off the line by Jamie Towers, the writing was on the wall.

That Omotolani Omotola broke to round Melvin Minter in the third minute of time added on was merely to rub salt into the wound and give a flattering scoreline on a day that proved a step too far for Kings, leaving them in 10th place in the table.

The league takes a back seat this weekend when Kings are set to finally play a home game against Isthmian League South Central Division side Barking in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Kings Langley: Minter; K Connolly (Coldcott-Stevens 78), Doyley, Adebiyi, Farrell; Collins, Johnson; McKeown, Ruff (Crawford 64), Campbell-Mhlope (Hercules 70); Weiss. Subs not used: Collier, Alfano.