Dundee United suffered their worst defeat to Hamilton Accies in over 67 years when they were humbled at New Douglas Park on Saturday.
You have to go back to March 13, 1948 to find a heavier loss to the Lanarkshire side than the 4-0 beating dished out to the Tangerines on Saturday.
That was in the days of the Scottish B League, when Accies romped to a 6-0 victory at the former Douglas Park.
United supporters of old would have consoled themselves when they got home by sticking a 78 rpm record on the gramophone or tuning into the wireless, while the fans of today will have been texting or using social media to commiserate with each other.
Almost seven decades separate the results but it is doubtful that being hit for six in yesteryear will have felt any worse than getting flogged by four from an Accies side that, until the weekend, hadn’t scored at all this season.
Let’s not mince words: this was a dreadful display from United.
Right from kick-off you sensed it was going to be Hamilton’s day and the shot from Ali Crawford on 28 seconds that flew just over keeper Luis Zwick’s bar intensified the sense of dread from a United point of view.
Perhaps the most damning thing was that the match took on the look of a fixture at Parkhead when Celtic have been at their freeflowing best and you watch through splayed fingers every time they attack.
This game was as one-sided as it can be at Celtic Park at times and it will be with real dread that United fans will be eyeing the Hoops’ visit to Tannadice this Saturday.
With Hamilton’s famous horse track a few hundred yards along the road from the stadium, United weren’t at the races both literally and figuratively.
In a first half to forget for Jackie McNamara’s men, they conceded three poor goals, viewed from their perspective.
They kept the hosts out for almost all of the second period but, two minutes into stoppage-time, home substitute Christian Nade netted from close range to make it 4-0.
That just put the tin hat on a miserable afternoon for the United fans, many of whom had been caught in excruciatingly slow-moving traffic at roadworks on the approach to the Friarton Bridge near Perth and were late arrivals.
Maybe that was a blessing in disguise, though, as Hamilton took control of the game from the off and on 19 minutes Crawford was given a gift-wrapped goal from the Tannadice men.
Central defender Mark Durnan played a slack pass forward as he attempted to find John Rankin and the ball was gratefully collected by Crawford.
Always a danger, the Accies man was given way too much space and time in which to cue up a shot from the edge of the box and his low strike zipped inside keeper Luis Zwick’s left-hand post.
On 36 minutes, out-of-sorts United found themselves 2-0 down when Lucas Tagliapietra headed into the Tangerines’ net to give Zwick no chance.
The visitors were rocking now and, remarkably, they fell even further behind on 39 minutes when Carlton Morris raced clear of the defence after yet another United mistake this time from John Souttar – before slotting the ball under the body of the advancing Zwick.
Substitute Robbie Muirhead came close for United with a shot from 25 yards, Chris Erskine’s effort was brilliantly saved by McGovern and sub Aidan Connolly had a chance in the final minute as they tried to get a goal back.
However, it was Hamilton who had the last laugh through Nade.
The hope for United fans must be that there won’t be any more performances as bad as this one from their team this season.
For all the stick McNamara got from some in the stands, at least he didn’t shirk away from giving an honest assessment of his side’s display.
“In the first half I thought we were terrible,” he said.
“I thought they (Hamilton) were first to most things and that they bullied us.
“I don’t think we really got going at all.
“There was the decision-making and we gifted them goals as well.”
Asked if the performance was the worst of his time at United, he replied: “The first half, probably yes.
“We got punished while they looked fresher having not had a midweek game.
“Excuses aside, you have to earn the right to play football.
“You are not just going to turn up and expect to pass and move, especially coming to places like this where they fight for everything.
“I think one of two were very flat but we’re not going to make excuses because even if that is the case you still have to do your job properly in terms of concentration and you give nothing away while the creative side might suffer.
“At the first goal it was a straight pass out and then we got punished for the same thing at the third.
“The second one came from our corner.
“So there were a lot of things that weren’t working in the first half but I thought we were better in the second.
“We then lost a poor goal at the end and it was just one flick on after a punt up the park.
“We were better in the second half but we left ourselves with too much to do after that first half.
“It’s a good learning curve and we have to make sure learn from that.”
Asked about the chants from some fans, McNamara said: “It is part and parcel of football.
“To be honest, I don’t think I can really say much about that.
“I have been in football a long time. These things happen and it’s part and parcel of my job.”