Petersfield Town manager Ian Saunders was left to reflect after the Rams slumped to a 4-0 defeat against Royston Town at Love Lane.
With just one win in their opening seven league games, the Southern League division one central new-boys slipped to 19th in the league.
They had been looking to capitalise on some recent excellent cup form and get their league season on track.
But that didn’t happen and they must now regroup and learn some lessons quickly.
Saunders accepted his Petersfield team were second best in all departments on the day as Royston recorded a comfortable win.
‘We had a poor day all round,’ said Saunders.
‘They beat us in everything on and off the pitch right from the start.
‘Their music was louder than ours, their warm-up was noisier than ours and their manager was more vocal than me and that doesn’t happen very often.
‘For the first time in a long time we didn’t compete and the only positive was we didn’t lose by more than four goals.’
Saunders felt the first goal was crucial for Royston, giving them the momentum.
The Rams boss added: ‘Hopefully it will prove to be another large part of our learning curve.
‘After we conceded the first goal Royston took charge.
‘Everything they tried came off while it was the opposite for us.’
Royston Town never looked back after taking a 24th-minute lead when the Rams failed to cut out a cross.
The ball was headed back to Scott Bridges who slammed the ball into the bottom corner.
Nine minutes later Town fell further behind and two more goals early in the second half killed them off.
‘Every team has a bad day at the office sometimes,’ said Saunders.
‘We have got a big FA Cup game next weekend.
‘But that shouldn’t have been on our players’ minds.
‘The absence of James Ford and Joe Briggs, who are both out of the country, didn’t help.
‘They have played a key part so far this season and their absence affected the balance of the team.
‘We are desperate to get more league points on the board but now have to wait for another two weeks before getting a chance to do so.’
The Rams will have a chance to put things right on Wednesday evening when they take on Widbrook United in the Portsmouth Senior Cup.
‘The cup game gives us a chance to get back on track,’ said Saunders.