There was the mood of a funeral as the defeated Birds players filed off, and head coach Djan Bacelar
was in no mood to mince words during the post-mortem.
"We're not good enough to stay up." he judged bluntly. "Yes, it's defeatist, and the fans will be calling for my resignation, but it's best to recognize the truth. It's better to perform a clean break and allow new shoots to sprout, rather than try to hang on indefinitely... which, remember, has happened too often in this club's history."
Surprisingly, the fans' reaction to this statement was markedly calm, with a large portion of the polled agreeing with Bacelar's sentiments. "We have to take this bitter medicine sometime, so now is as good as any." one club member expressed.
The Birds actually didn't lose all too much ground on this day either, with the other three contests all ending in draws. They are however now four points behind sixth-placed Arcturules, and a defeat next week at Arcturus Starworks would in all probability put them beyond realistic reach.
And if Grilled do drop to Division Three, they might not even outshine rising affiliates Farmer Bunnies, who exhibited many of the virtues that the Birds once possessed, in their two-nil shutout of Sporting VDF. Although this of course does not extend to raw firepower, the Buns reeked of imperious assurance in controlling the home contest.
Indeed, it could well have been more, but they were well satisfied after early goals from Sofian Azfar
and Enzo Paolo Panzarino
sewed it up by the 16th. The visitors' former youth international Cheung Li Shun did have his moments, but was put out of commission by Panzarino's careless tackle in the second half.