GJ Gardner Homes Wanganui Athletic had no slack to give to a freezing and overwhelmed Palmerston North Boys High in their 10-0 dismantling at a soaked Wembley Park on Saturday.
Their Ohakune man Will King slammed home a season-best five goals, which included the perfect hat-trick of scoring with his left foot, right foot, and his head.
After months of having to base their style on stone-wall defence while hoping to squeak through a goal or two for a shot at victory, Athletic came into their last Lotto Federation League home fixture wanting to open play up, thereby bagging not only three points but a solid differential as well.
It remains up in the air if such a large result leaves Athletic (7-3-5) clear of home town rivals Versatile Wanganui City FC (5-4-5), who saw their away game with North End at Skoglund Park abandoned by halftime.
Palmerston North was struck with even worse wet weather than the driving rain that came further north, leaving Manawatu rugby and football pitches alike covered in small lakes.
Under League rules, games have to reach the 60th minute before a result can be recorded in the event of weather abandonment, so a replay will be required.
However, City may struggle to find the time with a busy end to their campaign including PNBHS in the League's final round, followed by their Federation Cup semifinal with Gisborne United, as well as the Charity Cup match with Athletic.
Athletic will want to know the fate of the fixture as well, as their lopsided win moved them up to within three points of fourth-placed North End on the points table, while the massive scoreline rocketed their points differential up to positive 12, likewise only two goals shy of North End.
A 3-0 or equivalent win in their last away match with Massey University FC could see Athletic leapfrog North End for a very respectable season finish, provided City do their neighbours the favour by getting the win.
That was why Athletic did not lift their foot off the gas after leading 2-0 by the 48th minute, raising the tempo again after the 55th minute when PNBHS lost Scott Hilson for consecutive yellow cards.
Initially booked for lashing out with a foot in the penalty box, a frustrated Hilson then told referee Craig Laird what he thought about the call and got a second yellow for dissent.
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As the goals started to rain down like the weather from that point, Athletic coach Jason King said his PNBHS opposite began to ask about calling an early finish to the match, which he could understand for the frozen teenagers, but the home side still had work they wanted to do.
"Unfortunately, that was the difference between men and boys," said King.
"We understand they are young lads, but they are playing in a senior men's league."
There was one humorous note for the Hilson send off in that Athletic goal keeper Matt Calvert came all the way forward to take the penalty shot.
Fortunately for his frozen PNBHS counterpart, Calvert sent the ball straight to him and then had to make the infamous 100m dash back to his own box.
It mattered little as Athletic found the net six more times in the last 31 minutes.
"Even at 4-0 down, [PNBHS] were still in the game, although it was getting a bit quick for them," said King.
Peter Czerwonka opened the scoring in the 13th minute, while Will King began his prosperous afternoon with a 23rd minute goal.
King had a double by the 49th minute and swiftly went back-to-back just four minutes later, before Hilson's indiscretion.
Athletic now turned it on with three more goals in four minutes, as King got his fourth and was joined on the sheet by Jordan Candish and Scott Burney.
Jason King was then pleased to see young reserve Ryan Donaldson, getting to debut in his second time on the bench, score the team's eighth goal in the 70th minute.
"He looked nervous, or he was enjoying the shelter of the bench. But he had a good couple of chances to score, actually."
Divnesh Dayal then got his goal off a lovely diving header to the back post, before Will King made it a five-for in the 84th minute.
"He unleashed all the one's he nearly got all season and decided to get them in this game," said Jason King.
"Will just put on a nice clinic of finishing."
In the Horizons Premiership on Saturday, GJ Gardner Homes Wanganui Athletic Reserves managed a 2-2 draw at home with the North End Reserves, thereby staying off the bottom of the points table.