Chris Powell left his post as Charlton Athletic manager nearly 12 months ago, having steered the club through 161 games over three years, and having made 244 appearances in an Addicks shirt over three separate spells with the club as a player.
Saturday was the Charlton favourite's first return in an official capacity, but his current team's nagging inconsistency, both home and away, continued to undermine any run of form in the Sky Bet Championship and his counterpart, current Charlton manager Guy Luzon, left the happier.
Under Powell's stewardship, the Terriers have played 29 games; winning 10, drawing eight and losing 11. An impressive 3-0 midweek home win over Reading had followed on from a home 0-0 draw with Cardiff and a 4-1 reverse to Wolves at the John Smith's Stadium. Away form has been similarly mystifying, with an eye-catching point gained in a 1-1 draw at promotion-chasing Bournemouth coming after a 3-1 win at Millwall and a 1-0 win at Wigan.
The Huddersfield boss may have thought his team had finally hit their stride, and with the motivation of his Valley return providing further focus, was confident ahead of Saturday's game.
Following the comprehensive 3-0 defeat, however, Powell did not hide behind the emotion of the day and was forthright in his opinion of the one-side game, as he told BBC Sport "We were second best. We were beaten by the better team and we just couldn't get going over the course of the game. We didn't deserve anything. It was very touching and emotional for me but I am quite embarrassed as well. They have moved on and we have moved on, but it was a great moment for me in my long career and it's something that I won't forget."
Huddersfield lie in 14th place, a comfortable 11 points away from the relegation places, and now face another tough capital engagement on Tuesday night when they face play-off hunting Brentford at Griffin Park. Powell and the travelling Terriers fans will be wondering which of his teams will turn up.