Wolverhampton Wanderers suffered their worst defeat of the season on Saturday afternoon, when they were thrashed 4-1 by Midland rivals Aston Villa.
But at least the performance of highly-rated academy graduate Connor Ronan, who is currently on loan at League One Portsmouth, gave the supporters a reason to enjoy the remainder of the weekend.
"Connor Ronan's was a good as debut as I've seen from a young player,” former Wolves boss Paul Lambert told the Express and Star after the quick-footed midfielder made his first start in a draw with Sheffield Wednesday in January 2017.
“It took me a millisecond to see how good he was."
On Saturday’s evidence, Portsmouth fans will know exactly what Lambert is talking about. The 19-year-old played only 29 minutes of football for Wolves in the first half of the season, with Jorge Mendes’ big-name clients limiting his opportunities - but he is seizing his chance at Fratton Park.
Ronan hasn’t scored a goal yet for Kenny Jackett’s side and hasn’t been a regular starter either, but showed the supporters what he’s all about as he emerged as a rare bright spark in the disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Gillingham on Saturday.
Ronan was lively throughout, clipping the post with a genius free-kick and was - in truth, the only player to emerge from the defeat with his reputation enhanced.
The 19-year-old is one of the most exciting youngsters in Wolves’ ranks, but time will tell whether he will get his opportunity at Molineux with Nuno Espirito Santo’s side spending big in the transfer market in the summer.
Ronan the only option for me. Nobody close to him today— AnythingPompey (@anything_pompey) March 10, 2018
Tactically inept this season, pumping aimless balls forward most of the time ! Ronan looked bright and we played well for 20 mins in the first half. Other than that, Jackett has a lot to prove to the fans that he is the man to take us forward #pompey— Jack Gallop (@jackgallop96) March 10, 2018
#pompey I can’t believe how happy I was at half time! Absolutely shocking second half.. ronan was the only one who had abit of fight in him the whole game..— Joel Creamer (@joel_creamer) March 10, 2018
Lowe, Clarke, McGee and Ronan are the only players playing that I want to see in the Pompey 11 next year.— Chris Lewis (@ChrisTheLewis) March 10, 2018
The first half we played well, second half we came out and completely collapsed, god knows why, Connor Ronan looks to be a good player, he gave it his all, if Lowe scored that second goal with just GK to beat might have turned out different, 2nd half was shit. PUP.— PFC FOREVER (@pompeyted) March 10, 2018