The Red Insure League Cup failed to ignite spectator interest as Kings Langley and Chalfont St Peter huffed and puffed their way through a dour scoreless draw in front of the lowest gate of the season so far at Gaywood Park.
The tie went straight to penalties, and Langley – the side that had delivered five perfect conversions to win the Spartan South Midland League Cup four months earlier – turned in a woeful shoot-out performance that saw a success ratio of just one in four.
Alex Campana and Connor Toomey had efforts saved by Brendan Hazlett, Jack Pattison hit the bar and only Gary Connolly was on target; meaning that successful spot kicks by Anthony Thomas, Luke Brooks-Smith and Kofi Lockhart-Adams were all that was needed for the visitors to advance.
Kings had enjoyed the best of the opening 15 minutes, as a curling shot by Tom Carter hit the angle of bar and post, before Saints hit back with a Lockhart-Adams header ruled offside.
The second half began in the same way, with chances for Connolly, Campana and Pattison just wide or thwarted by the impressive Hazlett.
With both defences well on top, the game lacked a player with the necessary inspiration to break the deadlock.
Kings were to rue those missed chances as the game crawled its way to the final act, which was at least more interesting than that which had preceded it.
But it was a poor way for Kings to end a run of success in League Cups that stretches back over the last three seasons.