Kings Langley finally broke this year’s awayday hoodoo with a spirited and determined performance that earned a 1-0 victory against near neighbours Leighton Town on Tuesday night.

In the age-old adage of ‘if you want a job doing…’, it was manager Jordan Parkes, coming on as a late substitute, who delivered the crucial strike as his side bounced back from Saturday’s 6-1 thrashing at Welwyn Garden City in ideal fashion.

The early exchanges were cagey as both teams foraged cautiously for attacking initiatives.

Kings were first to go close when Louie Collier and Temi Akinbusoye combined well to set up Isaac Pedro for a sharp chance which Leighton custodian and ex-Kings keeper Xavi Comas saved well.

That spurred the home side into a counter offensive that saw Luke Pyman crash a first-time effort off the bar as the game see-sawed from end to end, although with both defences generally coping comfortably.

Kings reached the break with the score goalless, which compared to recent away performances was an achievement in itself.

Seemingly buoyed by the first-half shutout, the visitors started the second period with even more attacking intent.

Akinbusoye and Collier were regularly stretching the home defence and both players took it in turns to set up each other with good opportunities, but both were steered agonisingly wide.

Leighton too had their moments and the exchanges were becoming more and more frenetic as both teams went for the breakthrough.

It needed a cool head to break the deadlock, and they don’t come any cooler than the experienced Parkes.

The manager introduced himself with 15 minutes to go and quickly began orchestrating Kings’ attacking forays.

After a sustained period of pressure, skipper Jorell Johnson, revelling in his new midfield role, won the ball and fed Parkes on the edge of the box. The seasoned campaigner took the ball in his stride and, with laser-like precision, steered a shot into the bottom corner.

The tantalising thought of a long-awaited away win generated unbridled joy in the Kings players and they engulfed their leader in a swathe of delirious congratulations.

Normal service was quickly resumed as Kings realised there was still work to be done and, certainly, the home side were not inclined to allow the visitors to coast to victory.

Leighton mounted a series of increasingly desperate attacks, particularly with an aerial bias, but Kings were in no mood to give up their hard-won advantage.

For the most part, the rearguard managed the threat without too much anxiety and saw out the remaining minutes to record a long-awaited victory on the road which leaves them ninth in Division One Central of the Southern League.