A much-changed Kings Langley side were knocked out of the SSML Challenge Cup at the quarter-final stage as they went down 2-1 to Stotfold.
With the League a priority, Kings fielded only three regulars and gave debuts to defender Adam Byrne and all three substitutes.
Stotfold were also suffering from the relentless pace, having emerged victorious from the previous round only 48 hours earlier and upped their figure to six regulars.
However, as both sides started quietly, it was Kings who were first to up the pace and Sam Izzard had a 20-yard piledriver tipped round the post by Michael Parkin.
With Lee Burgoyne in the thick of the action, the home side continued to attack and their lead was richly deserved when Danny Hutchins swung over a pin-point cross from the right and Matt Collier climbed to head the ball home.
A Hutchins corner resulted in a Bradley Hedges shot narrowly wide and Stotfold had to wait until the last minute of the half for their first real goal threat, when Steve Bourke pushed a Stevie Thomas shot round the upright.
An audacious 30-yard lobbed shot from Billy Stevens hit the bar as the second half opened, but suddenly the game turned as the pacy Nyasha Sagwete broke free to outstrip the defence and beat Steve Bourke.
Bradley Hedges demonstrated sublime skills with a mazy run through three defenders to play in Paul Insley, but his shot was bravely blocked by Parkin.
Minutes later, Stotfold delivered the killer blow as Sagwete, Sinclair and Thomas finally began to look a threat to the home defence and a long throw found the unmarked Sagwete who put a close range header past the keeper.
The visitors hit a post a minute later, but the young Kings side rode the storm and inspired by Burgoyne, saw Insley again denied by the impressive Parkin.
There was to be no reprieve, but the Cup run has given both vital experience to several young players and valuable options to the management.