Former Watford youngster Matty Whichelow capped his debut with a goal as Kings Langley’s superb run of form continued with an emphatic 4-0 victory at Leiston to maintain their Southern League Premier Central surge.

The 28-year-old, who lists Boreham Wood and Wealdstone among his previous clubs, has become the latest ex-Hornet to move to the Orbital Fasteners Stadium and it was to take him just 23 minutes to get off the mark by scoring Kings’ third goal.

Will Hoskins, Jordan Parkes and Stevie Ward were also on the scoresheet in Suffolk as Chris Cummins’ on-song team secured a fifth successive away league victory and extended their unbeaten run in 2020 to a 12th game in all competitions.

While the victory only moved Langley up a place to tenth, they are now within three points of the play-offs and have at least two games in hands on all but one of the clubs placed from third to ninth in the table.

Whichelow started on the bench but Kings were boosted by the return to the starting XI of captain Roddy Collins and he was soon in the thick of things, seemingly challenging for every ball as both teams battled to gain the initiative.

In fact, it was the home side who almost drew first blood when Rhys Henry broke clear of the Langley defence but Melvin Minter advanced quickly to force the striker wide and the chance was lost.

The reprieve seemed to galvanise Kings and they set about weaving the patterns of play that has been the hallmark of their surge up the league.

However, it was an act of benevolence that led to the visitors breaking the deadlock when Byron Lawrence’s wayward back pass was seized on by Hoskins and the experienced striker drilled the ball past the stranded Sam Donkin with ruthless efficiency.

Leiston responded well to the setback but could make little headway against a resilient Kings defence, in which Calum Adebiyi was, again, in impressive form.

The remainder of the first half was largely limited to a midfield battle for supremacy, but neither side could strike a telling blow and the visitors retained their slender advantage going into the break.

That all changed with the introduction of Wichelow as a half-time substitute for his debut. The Montserrat international immediately signalled his intent, extracting a fine save from Donkin following a scintillating five-man move.

Langley were not denied for long, however, and keeper Donkin was again significantly involved when his misplaced clearance was seized on by Collins, who quickly fed Jordan Parkes. The midfielder gave Donkin no chance to make amends with a sublime finish into the top corner.

The blow visibly drained confidence from the hosts and the visitors took full advantage when Parkes was again to the fore with an incisive pass through to Whichelow, who unleashed a superb drive into the top corner to put the result beyond doubt.

Kings were well in the ascendancy now and completed the scoring with arguably the best goal of the game.

Parkes was the architect, combining well with Hoskins before finding Ward with an astute pass. The substitute forward cleverly slipped his marker before crashing a superb drive in off the underside of the bar.

It was harsh on the home side who had played their part and battled to the end but the quality of Kings’ finishing was impressive as they stretched their unbeaten run to a tenth league game.

Cummins’ men will aim to make it 11 on Saturday when they visit Biggleswade Town, but the league campaign takes a back seat on Tuesday night when Kings entertain St Albans City with a place in the Herts Senior Cup final at stake.

Kings Langley: Minter; G Connolly, Doyley, Adebiyi, K Conolly; Hitchcock; Collins (Ward 72), Parkes; Weiss (Whichelow 46), Hoskins (Williams 80), Toiny-Pendred. Not used: Anderson, Leslie.