Sometimes, just sometimes, winning and losing often take backseat to the overall enjoyment of a game.
As gutted as Hot Shot Napier Marist might have been on Saturday in their 3-2 loss to Best Travel Havelock North Wanderers at Guthrie Park they took heart from not rolling over.
Having led 2-0 for 75 minutes, the visitors conceded three goals in the space of 15 minutes in their ComputerCare Pacific Premiership soccer match.
"We were absolutely devastated. Jonny Greaney could have put us up 3-0 but it was great to compete against the top team so we know we won't be easybeats," Marist player/coach Dave Carswell said, adding fitness let them down after employing a 4-2-2 format from a 4-5-1 one.
Wanderers coach Bruce Barclay said it was the stuff that came from the hard yards put in on cold winter nights.
"A game like that makes you want to come back for more," Barclay said, lauding his troops for not quitting despite trailing.
Havelock Nth 3 (Carl Shackleton, Jerome Groot, Chris Greatholder) Marist 2 (Julian Peach, Jonny Greaney). HT: 2-0 Marist.
Taradale 6 Rovers 1
Frustrated Napier City Rovers coach Matt Hastings accepts "that happens in coaching" but not when you're a rookie looking for that magical first win.
Cape Physio Taradale thumped the visitors 6-1 after a first-round loss to Havelock North.
"We got what we deserved in the first round and we got what we deserved in the second," Dale player/coach Robbie Parker said, expecting a change of attitude from his troops.
Hastings, who is off on a honeymoon for the next two weeks, said injuries to David Gearey and goalkeeper Will Stockill didn't help Promotem Rovers' cause with striker Matt Single slipping on the gloves.
Taradale 6 (Dean Johnston hat-trick, Matt Bruin, Leon Birnie, own goal) Rovers 1 (Rudi Bauerfeind). HT: 2-0.
Gisborne 2 Port Hill 0
It was a tempestuous affair at Childers Road Reserve as Jennian Homes Team Gisborne were reduced to 10 men 15 minutes after kick off.
"There was a bit of off-the-ball stuff with striker Corey Adams retaliating because he'd had enough," Gisborne coach Blake Mulrooney said after beating Ericksen Honda Port Hill United.
Mulrooney felt his men had dropped to the level of the visitors in a scrappy affair.
With the Napier club requesting a Saturday match on "religious grounds" of some players, the Gisborne coach said it was a "pretty poor excuse".
"Just about every player in the team was drinking," Mulrooney said.
Port Hill spokesman Chaz Davis said they requested Saturday because of unavailability of players for Sunday.
"We had a drink then got into the bus."
Davis said Gisborne's first goal was a handball but the ref saw only the ball hit a player's chin.
"There was no rough stuff from us. You could probably say it was the other way around because they put in some hard tackles and the ref came and congratulated us after the game."
Gisborne 2 (Nick Somerton, Josh Bates) Port Hill 0. HT: 1-0.
Rangers 0 Vale 3
Having lost almost their entire squad and coach, Cru Bar Maycenvale United got their first win at St Leonard's Park.
"We were both pumped up but we had to be careful because we only had the bare 11 players," captain Nick Lucas said after the win over Western Rangers with coach Ritchie Howard crossing the floor to Rangers for his debut as coach.
Lucas praised his two Solomon Islanders in defence, naming centreback Alfred Ramo his player of the match.
Howard said he had only one training but the Rangers played well in in the first half.
"They scored a penalty against the run of play. We were reactive and sloppy in the midfield."
Rangers 0 Maycenvale 3 (Nick Lucas pen, Damien Cabrera, Ethan Dent). HT: 2-0.