Such is the case with Hearts this morning, who sit 15 points behind the rest of the SPFL Premiership table - the same number of points they were deducted at the start of the season for going into administration - with the best efforts of a quarter of their league campaign effectively consigned to the dustbin.
It was mainly down to the efforts of one man, Kris Boyd, who has found returning to where it started for him distinctly to his liking. The 30-year-old confirmed the renaissance in his career with a hugely accomplished display, punctuated by typically clinical finishes in each half.
Although the loss of centre-half Darren Barr, stretchered off in a neck brace after a nasty collision with Hearts team-mate Callum Paterson, cast a shadow over this match, the only other negative for the home fans was the fact that the timing of Boyd's fifth and sixth goals of the season - and the ensuing celebrations - clashed with the red card demonstration planned for the 18th minute of each half against club chairman Michael Johnston.
It was entirely typical of the striker that he should go off into the night kicking himself, somewhat harshly, for not adding any more to his tally.
He was also asked to consider the possibility of returning to the Scotland squad, for the first time since the match against Liechtenstein in September 2010, for the upcoming friendlies against USA and Norway, and considering the fact Gordon Strachan signed him for Middlesbrough, such a prospect should hardly be discounted.
"I've always said I want to get myself back in a Scotland jersey, but I don't just want to be back in because there are four or five call-offs," he said. "I want to get myself back in the mix through hard work and scoring goals. I look forward to the squad being named and if I am in it I will go and give it my best shot.
"I've managed to get two against Hearts, but I'll be critical of myself; I should have had more."
Having gone most of the season without one, this was the Ayrshire side's second win in a week and manager Allan Johnston had every reason to gush about his team. "It was a real team performance, but I thought Boydy was exceptional," said Johnston. "When he plays like that he is unplayable and it wasn't just his goals, it was his all-round game.
"Even in the last five minutes he was working back to win the ball for his team. Scoring goals is the hardest thing to do in the game and he can do it consistently."
There were also thoughts for Barr, a man who has turned out for both clubs, after he was taken to nearby Crosshouse Hospital for examination.
"It looked a bad one," said Johnston. "He was speaking when he came off the stretcher so hopefully it was just precautionary."
Both of Boyd's goals were things of beauty, even if the visitors were complicit in their own downfall on both occasions. The first came when Danny Wilson, a one-time team-mate of Boyd at Rangers, misjudged a 50-yard ball from Sean Clohessy, and rather than snatch at the opportunity, Boyd feinted to leave the backtracking Brad McKay sliding on the sodden turf, before lashing the ball beyond Jamie MacDonald with his left foot.
For the second, a free-kick from Jeroen Tesselaar travelled untouched to Boyd, who tamed it before dinking it in, again with his left. It was, you might say, precisely the kind of predatory instinct that also, ironically, made him a target for the Tynecastle club this summer.
No wonder it was a downbeat Gary Locke who met the media afterwards, his side's efforts to escape administration via a CVA still mired in courtroom proceedings in Lithuania. "We are back to square one, that is the bottom line," he said.
"We are back to where we are started and that is the first set of games gone. We have to defend better because the two goals we conceded today were so cheap it wasn't true."
Locke's misery was compounded by the loss of Ryan Stevenson after just 19 minutes when their most influential senior attacking player appeared to aggravate the knee ligament injury which kept him out for a few months out earlier in the campaign.
It wasn't exactly great timing, ahead of Wednesday night's League Cup Edinburgh derby at Easter Road.
"That is another blow for us," said Locke. "It was the same knee he injured early in the season, and it looked like a bad one. We will assess him again in 24 hours, but it is the last thing we need right now."