A late mistake cost Kings Langley two much-needed points in their battle to pull away from the wrong end of the Southern League Premier Division as they had to settle for a 1-1 home draw with Basingstoke Town.

Brendan Ocran’s first-half goal had put Kings on course for just a third league win of the season, and they looked set to complete the job until Callum Adebiyi fouled Sam Smart as the clock reached 90 minutes and Ben Wright converted the resultant spot-kick.

After the spectacular display of their 3-0 Herts Senior Cup victory over Hemel Hempstead Town, Saturday’s league clash on fireworks weekend was more of a damp squib.

Paul Hobbs fielded an unchanged team apart from the return of Kieran Turner, Jay Karagozlu returning to the bench after his midweek full debut.

Martin Bennett was in early action after ten minutes when he dived to tip a deflected Wright free-kick around the post and then denying the same player when he looked to have broken clear.

Kings responded with a 30-yard free-kick by Ocran that was held on the line at head height by Colm McAdden and a couple of efforts from range by Turner, but it was Wright who came closest to making the breakthrough when his shot hit the underside of the bar.

However, a fairly drab match was brought to life when Ocran cut in from the left and unleashed a shot which took a wicked deflection to leave McAdden wrong footed and give the home side the lead.

Bennett had to be alert to protect that advantage with a flying save from Smart, but the break arrived with the hosts looking comfortable.

Basingstoke upped their threat level in the second half, but a combination of sound defending and poor finishing kept Langley in the driving seat as a fairly unentertaining game ground its way towards the finishing line.

Both teams fell short of a crisp inter-passing game and seemed intent on putting the ball into the air as much as possible, but it appeared that Kings had done enough to achieve a third consecutive home win after breaking the hoodoo.

Then, as the ninety minutes came up on the clock, Smart twisted and turned on the far side of the box, the shepherding Adebiyi laid the forbidden hand on his back as he was turning away from goal and the winger duly fell to the ground, leaving the referee no alternative but to point to the spot.

A story book ending for the hosts would have seen Bennett’s previous display rewarded with a penalty save, but Wright’s kick was coolly dispatched, leaving Kings to lose their composure with three bookings and the match ending with the loss of two much-needed points.

The outcome may have had a familiar ring to it, but what made it more heartbreaking for Hobbs’ siode was that, unlike previous home disappointments, Kings had managed the second half closure well until that one fateful mistake.

Kings Langley: Bennett; Folarin, Connolly, Tring, Adebiyi; Johnson, Plowright (Weiss 60); Turner, Coldicott-Stevens, Ocran; King. Subs not used: Hampton, Karagozlu, Kenny, Collins.