The Boxing Day derby between Kings Langley and Cheham attracted a large crowd for its 1.30pm kick-off and began in bright sunlight.
Chesham started with ex-Kings David Hutton and Oran Swales in their line-up, but another former Langley favourite Lewis Toomey was a non-starter as was Kings’ number nine, Mitchell Weiss.
The visitors began in a hurry, seemingly showing fewer signs of the previous day’s festivities and the Kings’ defence had its work cut out for the first quarter of an hour, being under constant pressure.
However, they gradually settled into the game, Josh Coldicott-Stevens and then Brendan Ocran finally testing keeper Hafed Al-Droubi, before ending the half with a flourish that saw an Ocran shot cleared off the line and Coldicott-Stevens denied by a good tip round by Al-Droubi.
They continued the second period on the offensive with a Michael King lob being finger-tipped over by a back-pedalling keeper, but were indebted to their keeper Martin Bennett when Joe Iaciofano beat the offside trap only for the home keeper to produce an acrobatic save for a corner.
Stevie Ward produced a superb cross from a run down the right wing while under pressure, only to find no-one had kept up with him.
Jefferson Louis then missed a golden opportunity with a misdirected header at the other end.
There was some Christmas charity from the referee when a tackle from the Generals’ Adam Watkins received a yellow that could have been a card of another colour, but as the game opened up, the increasingly competitive atmosphere was still a fair one as both sides battled for the goal that looked likely to settle it.
By now, the weather had deteriorated, the cold being joined by the beginnings of rain, but the crowd continued to be intrigued as Ocran fired just over, Louis pulled another superb save out of Bennett and a Callum Adebiyi cross that seemed destined for an attacking forehead was instead back-headed to safety by Kieran Murphy.
The final act fell fittingly to Martin Bennett with another good save, before the final whistle sounded with honours even in a Boxing Day contest that went the distance, but was never dull.
Kings v Chesham: Martin Bennett, Gary Connolly, Callum Adebiyi, Sam Tring, Jorell Johnson, Elliott Godfrey, Stevie Ward (Gareth Price, 82), Josh Coldicott-Stevens, Brendan Ocran (Arjun Jung 77), Michael King, Kieran Turner. Subs not used: Alasan Ann , Emmanuel Folarin, Chris Gosling.
n See p47 for the report from Kings’ December 30 clash with Hitchin Town.