It's quite often in defeat that coaches have to dig deep to reconcile their emotions in taking stock of a season.
Jennian Homes Team Gisborne coach Blake Mulrooney found himself in such a predicament after Cape Physio Taradale thumped the defending champions 5-1 in Napier on Saturday.
With the ComputerCare Pacific Premiership bubble burst, Mulrooney said their goalkeeper Ryan Mastrovich's "punch, push or whatever" was a silly thing to do.
The hosts scored twice from penalty kicks to Perry Cotton.
"[Stand-in coach] Thomas Edge told me we were second to every ball so the one goal probably flatters us," he said, adding it didn't help that he couldn't be there with his team due to other commitments.
Dale player/coach Robbie Parker was happy to be 1-0 up at halftime into a brisk wind.
"We set the tone in the second half so we're very pleased with the result," Parker said.
Taradale 5 (Leon Birnie, Perry Cotton 2 pen, Brendan Adema, Mark Henderson) Gisborne 1 (Cory Adams). HT: Dale 1-0.
Marist 0 Port Hill 5
Coach Tim Claudatos found himself on the other side of the ledger after Ericksen Honda Port Hill claimed their first win this season.
The visitors thumped Hot Shots Napier Marist 5-0, with all the goals coming in the first 45 minutes at Park Island, Napier.
"It was away so it's an important first three points of the season and worth celebrating," said a circumspect Claudatos who felt Port Hill's first touch in the second half let them down with poor finishing.
"I don't think Marist were in the game at all."
Marist 0 Port Hill 5 (Hayden Ericksen 2, Shay Wall 2, Ryan McIver). HT: 5-0.
Havelock 5 Rangers 1
Coach Bruce Barclay lauded his men's defensive tone after a season of gifting oppositions goals in the first half.
"I was happy to go into a howling wind in the first half with a 1-nil lead," Barclay said, adding Best Travel Havelock North Wanderers played some good footy in the second spell for the 5-1 victory over Western Rangers.
Rangers coach Ritchie Howard bemoaned not maintaining a winning standard from their first win in the previous round.
"I suppose we were Western Rangers of the old. We didn't have the same belief," Howard said, after losing goalkeeper Shaun Peta to a rolled ankle.
The previous weekend he lost Lucain McDonald but on Saturday Jonty Tong returned from a fractured cheekbone.
Havelock North 5 (Patrick Wall 30th, 61st; Angus Fuhrer 47th; Chris Greatholder 69th, 90th) Western Rangers 1 (Luke Woon 77th). HT: 1-0.
Vale 0 Rovers 6
Stand-in coach/player Stu Wilson is two from two after Promotem Napier City Rovers thumped a coach-less Cru Bar Maycenvale United 6-0 at Akina Park, Hastings.
"It was similar to last week, when we kept the ball and played football with short passes so the score speaks for itself," Wilson said.
He had sent a text off the result to coach Matt Hastings honeymooning in Australia.
"I asked him how he would feel to be the ex-coach of Napier City Rovers," Wilson said with a laugh before adding it was keeping in Hastings' philosophy but players found his approach was beginning to bed in over time.
Maycenvale 0 Rovers 6 (Sam Lawson hattrick, Sven Exeter 2, Josh Anstis). HT: 3-0.
Dale 5 Feilding 1
With the bubble bursting 1-0 away against Palmerston North Marist on Thursday between two undefeated sides, Your Solutions Taradale bounced back at home to beat Feilding 5-1 on Saturday.
"I thought having played on Thursday most guys, after 90 minutes, would have been weary but we put on a good performance," player/coach Chris McIvor said.
Marist are the only undefeated side in the Fed League now in the hope of gaining promotion to the elite Central League.
Taradale 5 (Nat Wright 2, Jack Needes, Phil Dol, Keegan Bright) Feilding 1 (Aaron Richardson). HT: 3-0.