Kings Langley produced arguably their best performance of the season but were frustrated at having to settle for a 1-1 draw at high-flying Cirencester Town on Saturday.

The visitors took the lead through a penalty in the 23rd minute from Temi Akinbusoye but were pegged back by a 57th minute equaliser from Nathan Peare, who was perhaps fortunate to still be on the pitch after denying a clear goalscoring opportunity in the first half.

The draw leaves Kings in sixth place in the Southern League Division One Central table, two points behind their opponents.

With skipper Jorell Johnson suspended, a defensive reshuffle saw debutant Anthony Ball come in at right-back and he responded with a solid performance.

Langley were on the front foot from the start and could have had an early advantage when Rene Howe skilfully turned his marker to create a clear run on goal, only to be unceremoniously hauled down by Peare.

It looked a clear-cut denial of an obvious goalscoring opportunity but Peare was relieved to escape with a caution.

Kings continued to force the pace with Akinbusoye making regular inroads down the right. Those incursions eventually brought their reward as, ultimately, the pacey forward could only be thwarted at the expense of a penalty as he burst between two defenders.

The forward elected to become Kings’ fifth spot-kick taker in as many attempts, but was the first to successfully convert in that period as he blasted the ball past Centurions’ custodian Stuart Nelson.

Kings’ tails were up, but their joy was quickly tempered by an injury to teenage keeper Ronnie Sandford which forced his substitution by Juliusz Pazio.

Undaunted by the setback, they continued to press and Akinbusoye attracted another questionable challenge with a rapier-like run into the box, but this time the referee took a lenient view and awarded only a corner.

A match-defining moment followed almost immediately on the resumption when yet another searching Akinbusoye cross forced home captain Jake Lee into a desperate clearance attempt only to send the ball unerringly towards the top corner of his own net. Somehow, Nelson finger-tipped the ball onto the underside of the bar and then clutched the rebound into a welcome embrace to pull off a truly amazing save.

Buoyed by their keeper’s heroics, the home side pressed forward and from a disputed free-kick were soon level when Peare had time and space to head home.

This success galvanised their attacking initiatives but Kings quickly regrouped and were constantly looking dangerous on the break.

The game continued to ebb and flow as both teams looked to stretch their opponents’ defence in pursuit of a winner, but despite some promising opportunities neither side could secure the vital breakthrough.