Kings Langley were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw after a scintillating first half performance was followed by Stotfold fightback after the break that saw the visitors take a point home to Bedfordshire last night.

The hosts took the lead in the fifth minute when Rayan Clarke received the ball far right in a position that looked far from dangerous, but he bamboozled his marker, feinted to go outside before switching to inside and unleashing a shot from the edge of the area that gave keeper Alfie Bonfield no chance of reaching.

It was a fine individual effort, the in-form winger’s 12th of the season and looked a goal from the minute it left his foot.

Watford Observer: Louie Collier gets set to lob the keeper to double Kings' leadLouie Collier gets set to lob the keeper to double Kings' lead (Image: Micah Ricketts (M Rich Photography))

Even better was to follow when Louie Collier was the target of a high diagonal ball into the middle and brought it under control in one cushioned movement with consummate ease. He took a touch forward to assess the advancing goalkeeper and delivered an exquisite lob over his head and into the net to double Kings’ lead in the 35th minute.

The body temperature of the home element of a sparse crowd rose several degrees, Stotfold looked stunned and the interval respite was reached with Kings in control.

Apart from dealing with the skills of the two scorers, the creativity of Rene Howe and the probings of Sonny French, the speed of Temi Akinbusoye was troubling the visiting defence. And after his cross in the opening minute post-break was met by Howe and saved by Bonfield, he delivered another inviting ground hugger, but found that he’d outpaced his fellow forwards as well.

Watford Observer: Temi Akinbusoye watches as his cross flashes across the face of goalTemi Akinbusoye watches as his cross flashes across the face of goal (Image: Micah Ricketts (M Rich Photography))

It proved to be a telling few minutes, as suddenly Matt Ball, who had been a brief but integral part of Kings’ team in 2018, broke from midfield to cut inside and beat Juliusz Pazio against the run of play.

Now it was the home side’s turn to be stunned, but the inspirational Collier fired up the crowd again with a mesmerising run down the centre though a succession of defenders where the ball literally seemed tied to his laces.

A reward for the hardy souls who had braved the elements, but it was not to be rewarded by the footballing gods, as Stotfold, who had had the better of the half since their goal, struck again to level with a rocket like shot from the far right by Robbie Buchanan 15 minutes from the end.