Perseverance and a strong second-half performance was rewarded by a Jordan Parkes penalty deep into injury-time as Kings Langley battled back from 2-0 down to earn a last-gasp 2-2 draw with Peterborough Sports in Southern League Premier Central.

The hosts had trailed at the interval through a Callum Adebiyi own goal, but had much the better of the second half until Mark Jones doubled Sports’ lead and seemingly put the game beyond Chris Cummins’ side.

Substitute Harry Crawford gave Kings hope with seven minutes of normal time remaining and Kings’ desire to keep going until the very end was rewarded when Mitchell Weiss was adjudged to have been fouled by goalkeeper Lewis Moat in the fifth minute of injury time and Parkes calmly dispatched the spot-kick.

“I thought we deserved something out of the game,” said the Kings boss. “If we’d have come away with nothing I would have been so disappointed for them. I thought the second half that’s probably the best 45 minutes of football we’ve played. I thought we moved the ball really well.

“We gave away two poor goals, but even at 2-0 I just felt that if we can nick one we could get ourselves back in the game. But credit to the lads. We’ve created so many chances.”

Both keepers had an early taste of the action; Melvin Minter saving an Abdouramane Sano-Sali header before the Kings keeper’s quick clearance set up an attack which ended with a Mitchell Weiss shot being held by Lewis Moat.

The opening 15 minutes were largely scrappy though, with both sides battling to gain the upper hand. However, the hosts had the next sight of an opportunity when Kyle Connolly took advantage of the space in front of him to advance from left-back over halfway before laying the ball off to Stevie Ward. He came inside off the left before passing to Parkes who stepped away from an opponent before connecting well with a shot that was deflected over off a team-mate.

Moat then had to go full-length to push behind a Weiss drive after a Dean Hitchcock had started a flowing move that went through Parkes and Saul Williams.

But it was the visitors who made the breakthrough in the 28th minute when the hosts felt they should have been awarded a free-kick for a foul close to the touchline, but play continued and the stretching Adebiyi turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Mark Jones following a low delivery from the left.

The home side were not far away from equalising soon after though, when Parkes, who has a liking for the spectacular, had Moat back-tracking when he went for an audacious effort from inside the centre circle, which wasn’t too far off target.

The hosts went close again when what appeared to be a mis-hit Parkes corner from the right was back-heeled into the danger zone where another Kings player did the same, but Sports were able to clear.

However, the home side needed Minter to come to their rescue in the 39th minute when poor defending left Matthew Sparrow through one-on-one, but the Kings keeper came out on top of that dual with a blocking save.

Moat held a Parkes shot from the edge of the area at the other end, before it was the Peterborough keeper’s turn to impress, denying Weiss from close range after Moat’s mistake had given the Langley striker a second bite at the cherry after initially miscontrolling.

A foul on Ward gave Langley another opportunity in a promising set-piece position just before the break, with Roddy Collins not far away from getting his head to Parkes’ driven delivery.

Cummins made a change at the start of the second half, with Crawford replacing Williams.

After Minter had held a low shot from Joshua Moreman, Moat dealt with a Collins header from a deep Parkes free-kick.

The home side continued to up the ante at the start of the second half and a fine pass from Lloyd Doyley put Ward in the clear on the right, but he was unable to pick out a team-mate in the middle.

Kings were knocking on the door and they went closer still when Parkes saw a goal-bound shot put behind by the boot of Mitchell Griffiths after the Kings player-coach’s initial incisive pass had seen Weiss drag keeper Moat out of his area.

The visitors made a double change on the hour, but they needed a fine save from Moat to keep them in front soon after when he tipped over a curling, dipping strike from Parkes.

The midfielder went close again in the 65th minute with a powerful drive from 25 yards that wasn’t too far wide of the far post.

Peterborough had barely spent any time of note out of their half in the second period, but they were to punish their opponents in the 74th minute.

The goal had an element of good fortune about it in that a Paul Malone ball was deflected into the path of Sano-Sali on the right side of the area and he squared for Mark Jones to convert.

Cummins had already been preparing to bring on Will Hoskins and the former Watford forward replaced Ward before play resumed.

Kings kept going though, and their efforts got the reward they deserved when a Parkes flick put Weiss through on goal, his shot hit the post and Crawford followed in to convert the rebound with seven minutes of normal time remaining.

The hosts were almost in again when Doyley played a give-and-go to get beyond the defence in a right-wing position, but he was unable to pick out a team-mate with his cut-back.

Five minutes of stoppage time gave Kings extra hope of salvaging an equaliser, but it looked like the opportunity would elude them into the fifth minute of injury time thanks in large part to Weiss’ willingness to gamble.

A ball forward was latched onto by the Kings forward in the area and with Moat committed, the forward tried to lift it beyond the keeper but was taken out.

The referee had no hesitation in pointing the spot and Parkes did the rest, sending the Sports keeper the wrong way to secure a last-gasp but deserved point.

Kings Langley: Minter; Doyley, Johnson, Adebiyi, K Connolly; Collins, Hitchcock; Williams (Crawford 46), Parkes, Ward (Hoskins 74); Weiss. Subs not used: Linsell, Anderson, Lamboh.

Peterborough Sports: Moat; Griffiths, R Jones, Malone, Bucciero; Stevenson (Miles 68); Sparrow (Vieira 60), McCammon, Sano-Sali, Moreman (Hilliard 60); M Jones. Subs not used: Connell, Willock.