A CLASH between the two village teams in the Southern League Premier South saw Kings Langley come up trumps and strengthened their play-off chances, as they beat visiting Hartley Wintney 2-1.

Hartley started the better and in the second minute a cross from Mitchell Parker caused concern for the home side who scrambled the ball out.

Row continued on the front foot and a Josh Webb corner on four minutes saw Jack Ball head across goal to Alex Albert who headed over.

For a long period both sides probed from midfield with Hartley having a slight edge.

On 28 minutes a cross from Josh Webb saw Mikey Campbell edged out.

The ball dropped to Marley Ridge who was unlucky to see his effort blocked.

Hartley continued to look the more threatening and on 31 minutes Mitchell Parker found space on the left and his precise cross just eluded two inrushing forwards.

However, the opening goal was delayed by just two minutes. Parker again delivered from the left after a fluent Row move and Mikey Campbell rose high to head home from 10 yards.

The Kings pressed approaching half time with a few corners but the Hartley defence held firm.

The home side came out for the second period looking more purposeful. Row by contrast looked subdued.

Early pressure from the Kings brought reward on 49 minutes. Rene Howe held off a challenge in midfield and fed Andbonicos Georgiou.

The forward skilfully created space for himself around the edge of the box and shot into the corner of the net beyond Paul Strudley.

Play levelled out again after the goal with Kings having a slight edge. Both defences dominated and chances were few and far between.

Around the hour mark, Mikey Campbell chased a long ball through the middle.

He forced the ball past the outrushing keeper Alex Tokarczyk but Jorell Johnson raced back, won a race with Campbell and managed to clear.

On 75 minutes a Jacob Cook free-kick for Kings was deflected wide of the goal.

From the resultant corner from Georgiou; Howe headed badly wide.

On 84 minutes, Dan Stewart and Jack French combined well and the former’s close range shot was blocked.

Play moved to the other end and the home side scored the winner.

Howe controlled well in midfield and picked out a right wing run by Stevie Ward. Ward ran on at speed and shot home off the underside of the crossbar.

Hartley pressed until the end for an equaliser before time ran out.

Joint Hartley manager Anthony Millerick said: "I am extremely disappointed with this result. I do not see it as one point dropped. Rather it was three points dropped.

"We had a good first half and we should have been more aggressive in and around the box. We became too passive and allowed Kings back into the game."

He added: "I felt we stood off sometimes when they were in possession. Over the past few weeks we have had a good winning mentality. Hopefully this will soon return."

Hartley will tested to the full on Saturday, when league leaders Weymouth are the visitors.