The defensive issues in Big Orange Wanganui City 1sts' back field were painfully evident at Palmerston North's Memorial Park, as they blew a two goal lead for a gutwrenching 6-3 loss to rivals Hokowhitu FC of Saturday.
Eager to earn some payback in the Lotto Federation League for finishing runnerup to their hosts in the Horizons Premiership last year, City had an excellent first half, taking first use of the influential breeze.
Anthony Bell temporarily moved himself to the top the Golden Boot standings with two goals.
Dan Aplin then connected with a header off a fine cross to have City in the catbird seat at 3-1 come halftime.
Hokowhitu, in the words of City manager Danny Jonas, then received "a right bollocking" from their coach at the break.
But even though the home side came out firing with the wind at their backs, while City had a couple of minor injuries to key players, it still does not excuse the defence cracking that badly to the tune of five unanswered goals.
Jonas, who was looking after the team with head coach Kelvin Francis at his brother's wedding, could only quote legendary NRL coach Bum Phillips.
"There's two kinds of coaches, those who are fired and those who are going to be fired. So maybe I'll have a short career in coaching.
"Really hard to pinpoint where it went down.
"Two or three things really, definitely had to play some long balls – turning our backs to chase – and that was challenging.
"Just not consistent enough for the full 90.
"Even if we had parked the bus, it still wouldn't have been enough."
In the team MVP standings, Bell took the three points, while Jack Jonas got two and Jordan Joblin-Hall the one point.
Danny Jonas said his message to Francis will be to keenly study the match footage to see what is going on with the structure in the back four, as perhaps it is something they can't spot from the sideline.
"We are leaking at the back. Kelvin will address that.
"We're creating chances, and that's good. But it's not quite happening at the back."
Francis has this week to look at any changes ahead of travelling to Massey University to meet the school team, who are likely to be back to full strength following the holidays.
In the Premiership on Saturday, GJ Gardner Homes Wanganui Athletic Reserves lost 3-1 away to the Red Sox Latinos.