Dundee United finished off their Championship season with a limp defeat to Morton that they hope is just a bump in the road in their promotion quest through the play-offs.
With the Tangerines guaranteed second spot and their hosts safe from relegation, the contest had a classic end-of-season feel to it.
That was despite the remarkable pre-match news that the Ton management team of Jonatan Johansson and former United boss Peter Houston had the left the club.
Another ex-Tannadice man Charlie Telfer ended up being the man in the middle of it all with a contract extension set to be triggered.
With three wins at their backs and six in the last eight, United were hitting the kind of form that could propel them through the play-offs – add another good performance and result and they’d be flying into the semi-final next week.
However, six changes to the starting XI arrived, as manager Robbie Neilson gave game time to fringe players and those needing match fitness, and it showed in a lacklustre first period.
With the match pretty much meaningless, Robbie gave sub goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw a long-awaited debut between the sticks after his loan move from Hibs in January and highly-rated youngster Logan Chalmers a first start.
Also coming in was Cammy Smith after six weeks out with a hamstring injury and Sam Stanton, recently returned himself.
Osman Sow got more minutes under his belt up front as he looks to get back to sharpness and Charlie Seaman made his first appearance since the end of March.
Passes were sloppy and the pace and intensity shown in previous weeks wasn’t there as the Tangerines deservedly fell behind early on.
Right on the edge of the area, Mark Connolly challenged Greg Kiltie but got man first and then the ball, giving the home side a clear look at goal.
And fans’ favourite Michael Tidser, in possibly his farewell appearance, made no mistake as he fired the ball into the top corner.
Things did improve in the second period after the manager had had his say.
Just a minute after the restart, Cammy Smith went closest to equalising as he rattled the bar from 25 yards.
Chalmers went close before Connolly had a header blocked as United battled to draw level.
It didn’t come, however, as United failed to score for the first time since the end of January.
It may have been a dead rubber and inconsequential in the grand scheme of preparation for the play-offs but it’s a wee dent in confidence the Tangerines would’ve preferred to avoid.
A full week to prepare now is plenty time to get that out of the system and, with no new injury worries, the manager will have a whole squad to choose from.
This wasn’t ideal preparation but who cares if Robbie’s men perform when it matters in the play-offs?