Kings Langley were on the wrong end of a slightly harsh 5-2 scoreline at Chesham United on Boxing Day.
The busy season rolled relentlessly on with this local derby at Chesham on a sunny, but bitterly cold afternoon.
Without Xavi Comas in goal, Kings made a late signing of the much travelled and splendidly named Danzelle St Louis-Hamilton and had Luton Town prodigy James Verney on the bench.
They continued to be without the services of the midfield engine of Dean Hitchcock and Gary Connolly and the strike force of Lewis Toomey, but there was a welcome return to the squad of Jack Waldren.
United made the early running with Brad Wadkins and Ryan Blake having chances, but Kings produced a sweet, interpassing move on the half hour that resulted in a Ryan Plowright shot saved.
This seemed to be the spur they needed and minutes later a Manny Duku left wing run saw him pull the ball back to the centrally placed David Hutton and although he was tackled, Steve Ward was on hand to place a low angled shot past the keeper.
United hit back immediately with St. Louis-Hamilton emerging from a goalmouth melee with the ball, but Kings were more than holding their own until the home team were awarded a left wing free kick for what seemed a shoulder to shoulder incident and veteran striker Barry Hayles headed crisply home on the stroke of half time.
They carried that initiative into the second period and doubled it within three minutes when Mat Mitchel-King, up for a corner, headed in, but came close to an equaliser when a Jorell Johnson shot was well blocked by keeper Ashlee Jones.
Their hard work was undone when they allowed Hayles far too much room to stroke home a right wing cross to seemingly put the game beyond them, but suggested otherwise when another Duku left wing speed run and pinpoint cross enabled Ryan Plowright, on something of a scoring roll lately, to turn in from close range.
However, it was not to be, as a late penalty in a goalmouth scramble and a point bank head-in from a well saved shot gave the scoreline a look that was probably a little harsh on the visitors.