LAUNCESTON CITY lost 4-0 to Olympia but coach Roger Hardwicke said the most telling stat was provided by the debut of young keeper Ari Johnson.
With Lachy Clark suspended following his red card against Riverside and Daniel Nash unavailable, the regular Northern Championship gloveman became City's 21st player to feature in the NPL this season.
"That is really testing our depth," said Hardwicke, whose bottom-placed side has been heavily hit by injuries to senior players.
"It's a very young side, so it's a learning process in what is acceptable and what isn't and we did a few things that weren't acceptable and got punished which is the harsh reality of the NPL.
"We were masters of our own undoing. Silly mistakes gave them goals. When we were structured, we were fine, but when we turned the ball over they pounced and then it was uphill all the way for us. It was very disappointing."
Anthony Mamic gave Olympia a 20th-minute lead before two goals in as many minutes on the half hour set up the win. Callum Brown finished off a tidy second and then Joseph Mwarabu fired in from outside the box.
However, Austin Yost delivered from even further out, striking from the centre circle midway through the second half to complete the rout.
Injury-time goals to Eduardo Castaneda and Joffrey Nkoso somewhat flattered second-placed Glenorchy in a 3-0 win over RIVERSIDE.
Trailing to Nick Naden's deflected 66th-minute opener at KGV, Alex Gaetani's second-bottom side were still in the contest at the expiry of normal time.
Inspired by top scorer Nil Sanz, Olympic went close through Liam Gilmore, Matt Spanos, Fletcher Fulton and Aaron Campbell before Macka Hancox hit a post.
The familiar tale of Jarrod Hill keeping Olympic in the contest sustained hopes of adding to a disappointing tally of just five points before the hosts inflicted the stoppage-time heartache.
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Devonport continued their habit of snatching one-goal wins from the jaws of defeat as they marched towards a seemingly inevitable third-straight title.
Trailing to Matthew Pace's first-half strike, Miles Barnard pounced in the 75th and 77th minutes to seal a 2-1 win against Clarence Zebras.
It was the runaway leaders' 11th win from 12 undefeated matches and yet their modest +15 goal difference indicates their margin of efficiency.
When Nick Morton netted twice in three minutes to add to Bradley Lakoseljac's early opener, South Hobart looked to be cruising before a late Adam McKeown double made things interesting but couldn't save third-placed Kingborough from a 3-2 loss in the twilight fixture at Lightwood Park.