Kings Langley were beaten 5-3 by St Albans City Reserves despite staging a late fightback.
A classy St Albans side gave Kings the run-around in the first half, with their quick passing possession opening up the defence to go four ahead in half-an-hour.
A Sam Lyon header, followed by two Ben Luck strikes and an Alexis Nicolas tap-in, put the Saints in complete control, before a consolation penalty was blasted wide by Jimmy Armstrong as a woeful half for Kings came to a close.
A different Kings team emerged for the second half, though, and Matt Johnson’s introduction paid off almost immediately as he got behind the defence to score, before seeing a shot brilliantly saved by Saints keeper David Bailey.
The home side’s attacks were becoming far less frequent, but they had the fortune to see a shot – which Kings keeper Ross Hampton had covered – deflect off Liam James and into the net to restore the four-goal cushion.
Undeterred, Kings continued to reach levels they had never touched in the first half and Jack Johnson squared for Matt Johnson to tap in his second, before Mark Hansard forced home a Gary Wallace long throw in a crowded box.
With ten minutes to go, another goal would have really opened the game up, but it was not to be and Kings had to settle for a degree of salvaged pride.