A City team surely unrecognisable from the one likely to start the home first leg of Wednesday's promotion semi-final against Maidstone United was unable to end their remarkable National League South season with a win.
All the action of a distinctly end of season affair came in the final 20 minutes, with the match seemingly heading to a 0-0 draw, with little of the excitement of the two teams' first meeting when City came back from 4-0 down to draw 4-4.
The deadlock was broken after 71 minutes with an amazing 45-yard lob from just inside the Wealdstone half by Les Afful which caught out stranded Wealdstone keeper Jonathan North.
But City's lead was short lived as within two minutes, much-travelled Wealdstone sub Jefferson Louis made it 1-1 with a low shot into the far corner after the ball had come back from the bar.
And with less than ten minutes left, City's Connor Riley-Lowe was perhaps harshly penalised for handball, as a close range cross struck him and Louis easily scored the penalty for what proved to be the winner.
It was a result though that did not really matter to a City side who had already clinched fourth in the league with the 0-0 draw at Havant & Waterlooville.
And with the play-offs very firmly in his mind manager Steve Tully rang the changes and even made his first appearance of the season himself at sweeper.
But there was an early blow for City when striker Craig Duff with an ankle problem and is set to miss the play-offs, leaving City short of options with top scorer Isaac Vassell struggling with a hamstring problem
The first half was something of a non-event in the late April sunshine with City reserve keeper Tom McHale the busier of the two keepers and with the teams sharing 31 draws between them in the league this season a 32nd was looking very probable.
McHale, who was standing-in for City's supporters' player of the season Martin Rice, again impressed at the start of the second half with a couple of smart stops.
However, he had no chance with either Wealdstone goal, with City just glad to get through the match with no more injury concerns, though they did finish the game with ten men as sub Matty Jay went off as a precuation.
Now the focus is solely on the first leg match against Maidstone at Treyew Road on Wednesday evening (7.45pm) with the players taking to the pitch after the games to practise penalties.
And that match is sure to be a much more high octane clash than this rather tepid match,
The second leg is at Maidstone on Sunday week, with the winners meeting either Ebbsfleet or Whitehhawk (who beat Hemel Hempstead 3-0) in the promotion final.
CITY: McHale; Pugh, Tully, Bentley (Richards 67); Mitchell, Knowles, Dawson, Cooke, Riley-Lowe; Duff (Jay 15), Afful (Wright 78). Subs (not used): Brett, White.
WEALDSTONE: North; Mcleod-Urquhart, Smith, Parker, (Louis h-t) Hamblin, Godfrey, Wright, Cadmore, Demetriou (Lucien 63, Davies, Binns (McGleish 83). Sub (not used): Ball.
Goals: Afful (71 ) 1-0, Louis (73) 1-1, Louis (82 pen) 1-2.
Referee: Adam Ricketts.
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