The quality of the finishing proved to be the difference as injury-hit Kings Langley saw their FA Trophy hopes ended with a 2-1 defeat at Salisbury in the second qualifying round on Saturday.

Two clinical strikes from Whites striker Toby Holmes were enough for Steve Claridge’s side to progress after Mitchell Weiss had equalised with a fine effort eight minutes before the break.

Kings boss Chris Cummins was without seven players due to injury and suspension, so gave debuts to Casey Linsell and Alex Anderson after they had been signed from Harpenden Town and Hitchin Town respectively.

Despite Salisbury pressing from the off, it was Kings who made all the chances in the first quarter.

A through pass from Louie Collier freed Weiss to bring out the best in Gerard Benfield and then the forward executed an audacious back-heel to give Linsell a shot blocked on the line.

Further good defending saw a Roddy Collins opportunity beaten away, before Salisbury came into the game with a Josh Sommerton effort skimming the top of the bar.

Two minutes later the home side took the lead when Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick eluded Kane Farrell on the wing and a low pin-point cross was turned home by Holmes.

The visitors responded with a quality move between Stevie Ward, Collier and Collins ending with the latter’s shot again blocked almost on the line, but the equaliser came soon after when a Linsell flick-on received a first touch into the path of Weiss and the striker hit a curving shot on the half-volley over Benfield.

Two well-matched sides were now slugging it out to get the next goal and the half closed with a dazzling Ward wing run into the box finally halted after he’d ridden several borderline tackles.

The better chances continued to fall to Kings after the break, with Callum Adebiyi surprised that a swirling free-kick eluded all to reach him on the far post but he stabbed wide, while Benfield made a hash of throwing the ball out to launch an attack and Weiss was unable to take advantage.

Inevitably, Langley were to rue the low conversion rate of those chances.

Holmes had trodden the same path minutes earlier when he broke free of the defence only to be thwarted by the outstretched foot of Melvin Minter when one-on-one with the keeper. But as the clock hit the hour mark, the striker judged the offside trap well to find the ball at his feet and this time his finish was clinical.

The Whites’ joy turned to despair five minutes later when Bay Downing received two yellows within the space of five minutes and Kings came agonisingly close when substitute Max Hercules fell victim to a superb defensive block as his close-range shot looked to be heading home.

Salisbury organised themselves well and defended what they had, while Kings’ midfield, previously so eye-catching, became bogged down to the extent that the numeric advantage was not obvious and Minter had to pull off a great tip over from Kevin Amankwaah.

With a minute of normal time left, Ward stabbed a golden close-range opportunity wide in a cameo of the afternoon’s chances as Kings’ Trophy hopes came to an end.

Kings Langley: Minter; Anderson, Johnson, Adebiyi, Farrell; Collins, Coldicott-Stevens; Ward, Collier, Linsell; Weiss. Subs used: Hercules, Lamboh, Calvin. Not used: Victor.