Hercules were unable to sign off with a goal as they said goodbye to Primera Division football with a sterile 0-0 draw at home to Sporting Gijon in the last round of matches this evening.
The Alicante-based side had looked likely to enjoy a successful campaign as they starred at the beginning of the season, making a promising start thanks to excellent performances from big-name signings David Trezeguet and Nelson Haedo Valdez.
The Paraguay forward scored both goals as Hercules scored twice at the Nou Camp in a memorable victory, but the second half of the campaign has been less memorable for the promoted side.
Valdez was missing through injury, along with wing-back Royston Drenthe, who will return to Real Madrid and is unlikely to be welcome back in Alicante after upsetting the club with his attitude this term.
Javier Portillo twice came close early on and had two good efforts saved by visiting goalkeeper Raul Dominguez in the second half.
Hercules were the better side virtually throughout and were perhaps unlucky to see a Trezeguet effort ruled out for a marginal offside late in the first period.
Sporting, already safe, could have won through David Barral late on, but Hercules keeper Unai Alba saved well to deny the striker.
In the end, a draw was a fair result in a game lacking intensity and importance, but it finished on a unsavoury note as several home fans ran on to the pitch and attempted to assault the Hercules players.
Luckily, the stewards stepped in and there was no more trouble.
Hercules finish in 19th, while Sporting moved into ninth ahead of the late games.