It was an unhappy homecoming after six weeks for Kings Langley as they were beaten 4-2 at home by Welwyn Garden City in Division One Central of the Southern League.

Having looked to have turned the corner with a 3-0 victory at Kempston Rovers the previous week, the hosts were caught cold in the freezing conditions as they conceded two goals in the first six minutes on Saturday.

Although they fought back to level, City were to inflict a second home defeat on a refashioned side, leaving them tenth in the table.

Jordan Parkes made one change with the newly re-signed Alex Anderson coming in for the suspended Shaun Keane, but they were stunned in the second minute when a through ball enabled Bailey Stevenson to beat a hesitant defence and worse was to follow as the same player ran to the byline and fired in a low cross that cannoned of Ronnie Sandford into his own net.

Kings had their moment in between the two goals when Louis Collier’s run and pass found Temi Akinbusoye, but his touch was heavy and the opportunity passed.

However, the home side regrouped after the second setback and when Rayan Clarke took a corner on the left, the ball was partially cleared and Harry Crawford drilled a low shot home.

Five minutes later, Clarke was felled in the box, took the penalty himself and saw his tame shot saved by one time Kings keeper Charlie Crowley.

City came back with a rising shot over the bar from Jack Vasey, but with the away side’s defence providing a good impersonation of Kings’ earlier defensive woes, the hosts were beginning to dominate as a Crawford finish to a flowing move was disallowed for offside and Crowley denied Clarke again, parrying his fierce drive.

But the pressure had to tell and when Clarke delivered a peach of a through ball to Collier, the striker calmly rounded the keeper to slot home and the comeback was achieved with 39 minutes on the clock.

A home win looked to be the likely outcome from there, but the Kings defence folded again, allowing Stevenson to reprise his earlier goal off the keeper on the cusp of half-time.

The second half was a wretched affair as the mist rolled in, temperatures dropped below zero, and it became difficult to see across the pitch, which was probably a blessing as the amount of football on display also dropped to zero.

Kings had two further net-finders disallowed and the game was frequently halted by City’s ‘hold what we have’ tactics and there was little goalmouth incident to warm the home supporters.

The same could be said for the visiting fans, but as the winning post came into sight they were in buoyant mood, undeterred by the dismissal of Alex Harris for a second yellow 18 minutes from the end.

In the event, Kings’ nemesis Stevenson emerged from the gloom to add a somewhat cruel breakaway fourth in time added on, the whistle finally blew, the players attempted to find the changing rooms and the crowd prised their frozen extremities from the terracing to seek refuge in the clubhouse.