St Albans Cityâ€™s bid to bring the Herts Senior Cup back to Clarence Park for the first time in ten years was extinguished by neighbours Boreham Wood who secured a final showdown with Hemel Hempstead Town by virtue of a comfortable 2-0 win at Meadow Park on Tuesday.
St Albans started and finished the game positively but what went on in between was all too familiar and predictable.
Joint-Saints manager Jimmy Gray was forthright enough to admit that he did not expect his side to get anything out of the game, and during an honest post match interview he outlined how other local clubs have moved forward on and off the pitch while St Albans City have been left behind.
Both sides showed changes from their weekend Conference South fixtures but still fielded strong starting line-ups.
City brought in the brothers Green; with Danny replacing Howard Hall, who had a slight hamstring strain, and 17-year-old Jack stepping in for the cup-tied Jamal Lowe.
Wood made five changes from the side that won at Maidenhead with former Saint Ben Martin recalled as captain.
The younger of the Greenâ€™s again took the opportunity to impress well.
During the early exchanges Jack headed over the bar â€“ out-jumping all six feet seven inches of Martin in the process â€“ and curled a shot wide.
But the first serious save of the night was made by Cityâ€™s Joe Welch on 16 minutes as he leapt to beat away a fierce drive from Matthew Whichelow.
Whichelow played the ensuing corner short before taking a return pass from Daryl McMahon and crossing to the edge of the six yard box, where Callum Reynolds got in front of one-time Wood youngster James Kaloczi to head in the opening goal.
City hit back with Lee Chappell going close with a fine volley, but once ahead there was little thought towards Ian Allinsonâ€™s side not beating the Saints for a third time this season.
Although the play overall was little more than tepid City were thankful once again for the brilliance of Welch in keeping the margin of defeat respectable.
Welch, surely odds on to become the eighth City goalkeeper to win the Player of the Season award, made a flying save to deny Charlie Walker who just failed to put enough height behind an audacious effort from 30 yards.
The City keeper then had to dive to his left to keep out a bouncing effort from Junior Morias.
Right on the stroke of half time Wood opened City up with a superb 14-pass move.
It concluded with Luke Garrard clipping the ball into the penalty area for Montgomery to check inside of Danny Greenâ€™s despairing lunge only to have his point-blank shot charged down by Welch.
After the interval the main threat continued to come from the home side with Welch diving full-length to his left to keep out a snap shot by Walker. It was probably Welchâ€™s most spectacular save from an array of stops that will enhance his photo-album.
Walker was thwarted once more by Welch on 54 minutes when the unmarked Wood striker looked certain to score.
But before the minute was out the home side had regained possession and Morias threaded the ball through an open defence for Whichelow to slide the second goal wide of the completely unprotected Welch.
City substitute Sam Corcoran arrowed a good ball into the path of Steve Wales who, with a first time left-footed effort, forced home keeper James Russell into his first save of the night on 56 minutes.
With the outcome as good as already decided the remaining time contained little of interest, save for a wonderful 30-yard left-footed free kick by City captain Lee Chappell that sailed past Russellâ€™s flaying arms and thudded into the face of the crossbar.
Had Chappellâ€™s effort found the back of the net it is still unlikely that in the remaining minute City would have been able to avoid losing three times in the same season to Boreham Wood for the first time in 40 years.