South Coast Wolves couldn't give new coach Nahuel Arrarte a dream start to his first grade career as they succumbed 3-0 to Blacktown Spartans at WIN Stadium on Saturday.
In a match between the competition's only undefeated team and a club rooted to the bottom of the NPL NSW ladder, the Spartans showed why they lead the league with a clinical display.
First-half goals to David Gullo and Corey Biczo and a match-sealing strike with less than 10 minutes on the clock from Zac Freeburn ensured the visitors stretched their unbeaten record in 2014 to seven.
From the outset, the Spartans refused to give South Coast any room to move with tackles flying in thick and fast on a blustery afternoon.
Neither side crafted any real clear-cut chances until Ricky Zucco nearly gave the Wolves an unlikely advantage in the 27th minute when his curling effort grazed the crossbar.
While the Wolves faithful were still taking their seats from the chance, the Spartans charged up the other end to open the scoring through Gullo.
The attacker was given all too much space at the back post and fired in from a bullet-like shot.
Rather than becoming energised by the Spartans' goal, the Wolves fell asleep two minutes after the strike and were made to pay.
Biczo latched onto a long ball, controlled well and finished with aplomb past Daniel Collison to make it 2-0.
South Coast battled hard to get back in the game and had a penalty shout denied late in the first half and went into the break behind the eight ball.
The hosts battled gamely in the second half but were unable to secure a goal of their own and were eventually put away by Freeburn's late strike on the counter.
"You can't fault the effort today. Obviously we came up against a very good side," Wolves coach Nahuel Arrarte said.
"We have to take the positives out of the game and we will build on that.
"We can't dwell on what has happened. Obviously I have had very little time with the squad.
"My biggest thing is just building from the positives and tweaking a couple of things."
The main worry for Arrarte will be the fitness of skipper Jacob Timpano who went off midway through the second half.
"We will reassess him over the next couple of days. He has got a tight hammy [hamstring]," Arrarte said.
"We will find out when he gets some treatment from the doctor where he is at."