For a while Crawley Town’s last game of a benighted season threatened to rekindle hope for next season.
They pressed and enjoyed the better of the proceedings without actually ridding themselves of the shortcomings that have dogged them in this campaign.
Nevertheless their performance encouraged optimism before Barnet’s opener was followed by an absolute gift that turned the feeling to one of abject disappointment.
This became total dejection as the Reds’ game collapsed to being absolutely dire.
OK, we know where we are but where do we go from here?
Dermot Drummy’s tenure has started with the quality of consistency – consecutive three-goal defeats in matches that Crawley could and should have won.
The manager will be certain by now that he has very few players who can actually cut the mustard in League Two.
Some players will obviously leave the club but until that happens and their replacements have been recruited, there is little point in further comment.
What is clear are the aspects that Dermot and his assistant Matt Gray must work on and improve if next season is not to be as painful as the one just finished.
Attacking football is promised but if that is to happen the players must be prepared to strike the ball rather than take an extra touch.
I make no bones about repeating that if you don’t have a shot you can’t even miss. That failing was very apparent against Barnet.
The defence has to learn to concentrate throughout and to consider safety first.
They must provide better cover for each other as I don’t believe you can coach the team’s greatest failing which is their decision making. Our failures to score and ability to give away goals is invariably due to the wrong choices rather than a lack of ability.
Our promising attacks so often peter out as the player hesitates, trying to make up his mind, and loses possession.
It has been like that all season and has contributed more to our dismal tally of goals, just four in ten games since we last won at Luton two months ago, than the more obvious lack of pace upfront.
It will be important during the summer for some optimism to be restored among the remaining fans at Broadfield.
Increased attendances are essential but season ticket take-up for next season could prove a worrying factor for the club’s administration.
Dermot Drummy faces a massive task in turning around the team’s fortunes which will be essential before improving results could lead to rising numbers through the turnstiles.
None of us can tell him how to do it so we must fervently hope that the manager himself knows.
He was brought in very quickly to replace Mark Yates so we have to wait and see whether the owner’s decision-making was better than his team’s has been.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage at www.crawleyobserver.co.uk
2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/crawleyobserver
3) Follow us on Twitter @Crawley_Obby
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
The Crawley Observer - always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.