Kings Langley and hosts Hereford both struggled to overcome the gales and downpours on Saturday but it was the home side that ultimately came out on top 3-0.
Kings matched Hereford for what chances there were and Dean Hitchcock and Gareth Price tested home keeper Martin Horsell before Hereford’s mounting pressure paid off just before half time.
Lance Smith received a pass out wide and slipped the ball to Dara O’Shea, who whipped in a cross which John Mills diverted past Kings keeper Martin Bennett at the near post.
The visitors refused to be overawed, though, and were stunned when a blatant foul in the area on Gareth Price went unpunished.
On such moments do games turn and Kings’ hopes were dashed three minutes into the second half when they gifted the prolific Mills his second after a defensive error allowed him a straightforward finish.
Kings continued to try to find a way back into the game and substitute Brendan Ocran shot narrowly wide, had a mazy run halted dangerously in the box and then a free-kick palmed away, while at the other end Martin Bennett pulled off a great save from the predatory Mills.
As the game entered the last ten minutes, Langley striker Mitchell Weiss had a shot saved on the line.
But minutes later a Rob Purdie corner was headed home by Hereford substitute Mike Symons to put the result beyond doubt, while Bennett had the personal satisfaction of denying Mills a hat-trick with a last-minute save in a one-on-one situation with the striker.
The final scoreline was perhaps a little harsh on a Kings side that never stopped battling, but again saw fortune turn its back at vital moments.
For most of the team, playing in front of a crowd of more than 2,300 people represented a new experience and one that demonstrates just how far the club have progressed in four memorable seasons.
Langley remain in 21st place in the table after the loss.
They did pick up a point in midweek, however, when they drew 2-2 against Dorchester Town.
It was groundhog day for Kings as they produced an early firework display that lit up Gaywood Park in the first half, only to fall to earth in the second.
Kings’ goals came from Kieron Turner and Weiss.
Kings were due to be in action again last night (Tuesday) when hosting 22nd-ranked Dunstable Town.
On Saturday they visit Hendon for an FA Trophy qualifying round tie.