Dean Barker felt experienced told as the brakes were put on Kings Langley’s bright start to their Southern League Premier Central season when they suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to Hednesford Town on Saturday.

Playing their first league game of the season at the newly-named Orbital Fasteners Stadium, the hosts had the better of the first half but were to be undone by goals from Tom Elliott and Kieran Wells after the break.

Kings boss Barker reflected: “In the first half we created enough opportunities to go into the break ahead against a very experienced side. Second half, their experience told against our young players.

“All in all a great learning curve against another former Conference club. The players worked very hard throughout.”

The earliest chance fell to Kings when a Charlie Ruff through ball was latched onto by a superb turn by Mitchell Weiss, but Daniel Platt was swiftly off his line to block the shot. When the hosts tried a different tactic, Roddy Collins’ 25-yarder was just high of the bar.

Town answered with bustling centre forward Wells heading just wide, but the award of a penalty in the 17th minute for a clumsy challenge by Lloyd Doyley on Reece King gave them the chance of an early lead.

Wells went for power on the spot-kick, but Melvin Minter made a superb save and the ball was scrambled away.

Eager to atone, the striker put a toe poke just wide on the half-an-hour mark, but it was Kings, anxious to exploit the lifeline, who finished the half strongly, with efforts by Collins and Ruff just wide.

Kings in general and their young attacking midfield trio in particular, with an average age of 20, had enjoyed the better of a half against a side whose minimum height requirement seemed to be well in excess of six foot.

However, the second half was only five minutes old when the Pitmen struck the blow that was to put them on the path to victory, when their physical presence finally told as Elliott forced the ball home from a goalmouth melee.

Langley laboured hard, but were now making little headway against a physically imposing side and it was no surprise when Town went further ahead, breaking from a corner, switching the ball from right to left and finishing cleanly through Wells.

A flowing move between Weiss and Max Hercules almost gave Ruff an opening, while an offside Harry Crawford had the ball in the net after an Eoin McKeown shot cannoned off Platt and into his path.

These were merely interludes however, as the visitors demonstrated why they have the best defensive record in the division and they comfortably saw out the last minutes of a game to leave their opponents with plenty to ponder.

Kings will be looking to get back on track quickly tomorrow night when they travel to early-season strugglers St Ives Town.

Kings Langley: Minter; K Connolly, Doyley, Adebiyi, Farrell; Collins, Pattison (Crawford 69); McKeown, Ruff (Coldicott-Stevens 79), Hercules (Campbell-Mhlope 85); Weiss. Subs not used: Victor, G Conolly.