Kings Langley manager Chris Cummins’ patience was rewarded this week when former Watford youngster Jordan Parkes joined as player-coach.

The Hornets’ former director of youth has been in talks with the midfielder since he was appointed at Gaywood Park at the start of last month and he was delighted to secure his number one target from Billericay Town.

Cummins said: “I’ve been speaking to Jordan for about four or five weeks, trying to persuade him. I think he wants to be closer to home, he’s got children now and his little lad’s a very good footballer from what I gather so I think the travelling was probably getting to him. But he was really keen to come on board, we just had to get the timing right and he’s looking forward to it. He’s going to be available in the next 10 days, probably the Needham (Market) game at home [on November 23] will be his debut hopefully.

“He’s going to give us that added experience, but quality as well. He’s a terrific lad, his attitude his fantastic and he knows the game and when I first came in he was the one I wanted so I’m really pleased to get him.”

The Hemel Hempstead-born former Parmiter’s School pupil made one senior appearance for the Hornets and had loan spells with Brentford, Barnet and Stevenage before returning to Barnet on a permanent basis in 2010.

Parkes made more than 50 appearances for the Bees and after a short spell with Chelmsford City, joined Hemel Hempstead Town for the first of  two successful spells with his home-town club for whom he was club captain and scored more than 100 goals.

Well-know his for set-piece ability, the 30-year-old former England Under-18 and Under-20 international has his own football coaching business and took temporary charge at Hemel alongside Darren Ward in 2018.

The Kings boss is also optimistic of making another signing shortly who he described as “another lad I’ve worked with before at a pro club, hopefully that will get over the line this week and they’ll be two very good additions to the squad”.

The signing of Parkes has also coincided with an improvement in the injury situation at Gaywood Park.

Kings have been down to the “bare bones” of late, but Dean Hitchcock made his return from a lengthy lay-off as a substitute in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Lowestoft Town, Cummins is hopeful Gary and Kyle Connolly will also be available again shortly, while Lloyd Doyley is “probably a couple of weeks away”.

“We’re getting there,” Cummins said. “We’re not the biggest squad and I didn’t want to rush to bring new signings in because I have to bring the right type of player for how we want to play and for the club.”

Kings looked set to bounce back from Saturday’s 2-1 FA Trophy defeat at Salisbury when Stevie Ward gave the visitors a 53rd-minute lead on the Suffolk coast. But the home side hit back to take the points with two goals in seven minutes from Jake Reed and Travis Cole.

Cummins felt Kings “should have got something out of the game”, but was frustrated that his side had to make a long trip in midweek and believes the Southern League should look at the scheduling of fixtures.

He said: "I’ve got to credit the lads because they spent four hours on a coach, got off, tried to play a game and we didn’t get back until 2am. It’s ridiculous. I don’t know how they work the fixtures out.

“I think because we’ve had a good run in the cup they maybe move a Saturday to a Tuesday, but I think that’s where the league needs to think about it and go ‘you’ve got a Hitchin coming up or a Royston, let’s rotate them, so you go to them on a Tuesday night'.”

The visitors began brightly enough on the first visit to Crown Meadow, with Mitchell Weiss unable to capitalise on two early opportunities.

The hosts were industrious with their own attacking endeavours and the tricky Reed caused occasional anxiety in the Kings defence, but generally the exchanges were devoid of any quality in the opening period as both teams foraged for a breakthrough.

Things quickly livened up in the second half as a Kings free-kick on the right was only partially cleared to Ward and his blistering first-time effort rocketed into the corner.

The advantage could have been doubled just a minute later as Weiss fired just over from a good position.

But that was as good as it got for Cummins’ side and the hosts got back on terms when a deft through ball found the lurking Reed, who coolly clipped the ball past the advancing Melvin Minter to equalise.

Kings responded with a surging run by Harry Crawford that ended with the experienced forward firing just over.

Just seven minutes later Kings’ penchant for conceding cheap free-kicks with fateful consequences once again reared its ugly head.

This time it was the Trawlerboys’ skipper Cole who was the beneficiary when he was on hand to steer the ball home after a penetrating delivery caused panic in the visiting defence.

Langley tried manfully to respond and pressed hard for parity, but the task was made doubly difficult with the dismissal of Ward, who responded aggressively to a crude challenge and saw red.