Kings Langley were unable to continue their winning start to 2022 as they suffered a frustrating 1-0 defeat at Beaconsfield Town on Saturday.

Lucas Kennedy-Sinclair’s second-half goal proved to be the difference as Kings could not follow up their victory over Hendon with another three points in Southern League Premier South, although it took a superb goalline clearance to prevent them snatching a draw at the death.

With Gary Connolly not recovering from last week’s injury, Lanre Ladipo continued his role as the holding midfielder and Kyle Ajayi, signed on a short-term loan from Hemel Hempstead Town, slotted in alongside Sam Dreyer following the end of Will Hall’s loan from Watford.

Kings began as they had ended at Hendon, on the front foot, but found a team that deployed an equally pressing tactic and both sides were given little time on the ball.

The Rams’ answer to this was typified by the dangerous Oli McCoy, adopting a shoot on sight policy. After a 20-yarder just wide, he forced Jack Smith into a good save with a similar effort minutes later.

Ladipo and Jack Wood took the hint with the former’s shot just over and the latter’s well tipped round by Ryan Hall, but the hosts were upping the pressure and a superb block by Dryer denied them before Matt Harriott was narrowly wide and McCoy fired in another thunderbolt that Smith saved, with his defence clearing up.

The second half was two minutes old when Jamie Jellis found space to deliver a shot that looked a goal all the way until Hall pulled off a tremendous flying save and then an Edu Toiny-Pendred cross picked out Wood, but he failed to follow the McCoy script and the chance was gone.

From that point on, the Rams began to dominate and after a glaring miss by Jordan Aghatise, it was not against the run of play when a flowing move across the Kings back line always seemed to have a man over and substitute Kennedy-Sinclair gave the gallant Smith no chance with a powerful shot from the edge of the box into the top corner.

As both sides resorted to long balls, it was difficult to see a way back for Kings, with McCoy continuing to give Lennie Armstrong a torrid afternoon and Arel Amu struggling to make any impression up front.

But regular followers of Langley know that it’s never over until the final whistle and against the odds, Kings came within a whisker of pinching a point in the third minute of five added when a goalmouth scrimmage saw Amu denied by a superb goal-line sliding clearance from Luke Neville, who had only entered the fray three minutes earlier.