St Johnstone have had five, six and seven put past them in a fixture that has been as one-sided as any in the Premiership over the last couple of years.
But none of the losses to Celtic that have added up to a running scoreline total of 29-0 will have been as painful as this late, late one.
It was cruel, of course. All 90th minute defeats are. But, in the context of the Perth side’s season, it was also predictable.
Saints played well. Very well. They frustrated Celtic and restricted the champions to as few clear-cut chances as you could reasonably hope or expect to.
And they had a glorious opportunity of their own. But, as has happened time after time after time, they didn’t take it.
Before Leigh Griffiths – yes, remember him – bulleted home a header and fellow substitute Patryk Klimala followed his lead in injury-time, an unmarked Craig Conway had struck the post from close-range.
Saints are now bottom of the table on goal difference when, taking into account the quality of the football they have produced in most of their matches thus far, Callum Davidson’s team should really be in the top six.
Israeli striker Guy Melamed is expected to sign before the transfer window shuts and hopefully his arrival will turn a team earning consistent praise into one earning consistent points.
Davidson went with his favoured 5-2-3 formation and his players gave him the start he would have asked of them.
They were compact without the ball and concentration levels were excellent from the first whistle.
Very little of note happened near either penalty box in the first 15 minutes and Davidson would have had absolutely no problem with that.
And, as the first half progressed, Saints were able to play their way up the park increasingly effectively.
One example of that was Stevie May and David Wotherspoon linking up well down the left and when the latter was impeded by Olivier Ntcham on his surge forward, there was a free-kick opportunity to commit the big men into the 18-yard box.
Unfortunately, Conway’s set-piece came to nothing.
The former Dundee United winger got his delivery inch perfect from the other side on 26 minutes, though.
This time it was a cross that Celtic keeper Varsilas Barkas was tempted into coming for but couldn’t get to. Wotherspoon had made an excellent near post run but when he met the in-swinger, he got too much height and power on a header that needed to be a glancing one.
By this point the frustrations of the visiting team and management were clear.
“This isn’t good enough” was Shane Duffy’s shout from the back, “liven it up” Callum McGregor’s from the middle of the pitch and “it’s too slow” Neil Lennon’s touchline verdict.
All of that was true and would have been music to the Saints players’ ears.
The nearest Celtic came to scoring in that opening 45 was a McGregor shot dragged past the post from a Greg Taylor cut-back and a deflected Odsonne Edouard strike that Zander Clark saved comfortably.
Confidence was growing in the home team and a cheeky Wotherspoon 40-yarder just before the break that didn’t miss the target by much was further proof of it.
That confidence would have been even higher if Conway had scored three minutes after the re-start – as he really should have done.
Wotherspoon’s low cross found its way to the veteran winger beyond the back post but he smashed his first-time shot flush against the upright from about six yards out.
Saints hadn’t scored against Celtic in 951 minutes of football before kick-off and a goal here would have stopped the wait dragging into four figures.
It was the sort of ‘if only’ moment that has haunted the early weeks of St Johnstone’s season.
It was also another reminder to Lennon that things had to change in his team and there was a double substitution by the Hoops boss before an hour had been played, with David Turnbull and Edouard replaced by Ryan Christie and Klimala.
The second of those subs came very close to making a swift and decisive impact.
Ntcham sent over a dangerous cross from the right which Klimala got a touch to at the near post. Clark was beaten but the shot went wide.
Two Celtic players got their first taste of Premiership action of the season with 15 minutes left – Griffiths and Tom Rogic – and then came the fifth and last roll of the dice by Lennon, bringing on captain Scott Brown.
Griffiths looked the liveliest of the three but Saints’ offside trap worked well when he made a run in behind the defence to get on the end of a ball over the top.
The Scotland striker then tried a spectacular scissors-kick volley from the 18-yard line that would have been a goal of the season contender had it found a top corner of the net rather than an empty stand.
He had a six-yard header that he couldn’t convert with a couple of minutes left but that proved to be the perfect preparation for a cross that came over from the right in the dying seconds that was buried into the bottom corner.
A Celtic career that look over in the summer is now full of life again.
Saints had one more attack left in them but Michael O’Halloran couldn’t pick out Ali McCann with a cut-back. Then Klimala got on the scoresheet with a final kick of the game stoppage time finish on the angle.
Having lost at the death to Hibs the last time Sky Sports were at McDiarmid Park this was another Sunday sickener for St Johnstone.