Macedonia found the route to victory in a Group A World Cup qualifier last night much easier to navigate.
It would take just 21 minutes for the home side ease ahead, Agim Ibrimi's free-kick hitting the Wales wall and landing at the feet of Ivan Trickovski, who opened the scoring. The match had also been somewhat uncomfortable for the visitors as Ashley Williams was accused by the hosts of handling the ball in the penalty area early on and striker Jovan Kostovski only just failing to get on the end of a cross.
There was some sense of relief when Aaron Ramsey converted a penalty after 39 minutes but that only lasted until 10 minutes from time when Aleksandar Trajkovski scored a second for the home side.
That goal invited the band of Wales fans to call for the introduction of a substitute, more specifically the arrival of a hero, since Gareth Bale had overcome injury concerns to make the squad. Instead they got Sam Vokes. Coleman would contend that Bale had only spent around two days training since the summer as a result of his protracted move to Real Madrid and the attacker was left to gather his thoughts on the bench last night.
He looked as glum as anyone as Wales succumbed in Macedonia but there were the occasions bright spells. Ramsey's penalty was one - the midfielder being caught by Trickovski in the box - and a free-kick from Craig Bellamy which struck a post was another. Jonny Williams was also denied a goal by goalkeeper Tome Pachovski after the Welshman latched on to a clever pass from Joe Ledley.
Such moments will have seemed harder to recall when first Trickovski and then Trajkovski ensured that Macedonia took the points on the night. The latter goal will have pained Coleman most - his side having left themselves exposed in defence as they pushed for a winner of their own, while the Macedonian forward was not closed down quickly enough as he sized up a shot. With a swish of his boot, the match was over.