Biggleswade Town ran out of steam and lost 3-1 at home to neighbours Hitchin Town on Bank Holiday Monday.
They had chances against their visitors but in truth the Canaries were just too strong and were good value for their win, which pushed them into second in the Southern League Premier table.
Monday’s contest in front of a bumper 551 crowd, swelled by a large contingent from Hertfordshire, began in lively fashion with both sides having half chances.
For Biggleswade Connor Hall put an early opportunity just wide and Brad Hewitt headed just over from a free kick.
However the game came to life with a stunning goal after half an hour that saw Hitchin go in front.
Smith collected the ball a full 30 yards from goal and unleashed a cracking strike that flew past Ian Brown and nestled in the top corner of the net.
And just five minutes later it was 2-0 as Smith crossed and Matt Lench hit the ball against the bar – and then reacted quickest to stab home the ball from close range.
Hitchin now looked in control and more likely to go further in front but from seemingly nowhere the Waders got back into the game.
A ball was fired into the Hitchin box, it struck Dan Webb on the arm and despite few appeals the referee pointed straight to the spot. Effiong stepped up and smashed the ball to the bottom corner and although Michael Johnson did well to get a hand to it, it went in off the post.
Biggleswade enjoyed their best spell of the match early in the second period and threatened to draw level.
Rhys Hoenes fired over, while Johnson had to be alert to stop a powerful long range free kick from Effiong.
However Hitchin had their fair share of chances and netted their third midway through the second half. From a corner Spence headed on and Lench was there at the back post to beat Brown.
Tony Burnett was brought on as Biggleswade tried to get back into the match but in truth Hitchin looked more likely to add to their score as the clock ran down, Lench going close to a hat-trick as his shot hit the crossbar.
Biggleswade Town head to the division’s bottom side Cinderford Town on Saturday before heading to St Ives Town in the League Cup on Tuesday.