When you face the prospect of a 350-mile return journey with only the memories of the last 90 minutes to keep you company, you could be forgiven for expecting your team to give everything for the cause, irrespective of the result, writes Mike Corry.
Not so if you're a Carlisle United fan. The 200 hardy souls who made the onerous journey to South Wales were rewarded with a performance of such ineptitude that it brought memories of the dim, dark past flooding back.
Having recently enjoyed the success of back-to-back promotions, this was a bitter pill to swallow for the Foxes' faithful.
In mitigation you could point to the absences of Peter Murphy and Zigor Aranalde, through suspension, and the loss of Danny Livesey and Simon Hackney, with ankle ligament damage and a knee injury respectively, the day before in training.
Add to that the calf injury sustained by Kevin Harper in the pre-match warm up and you could sense this was not going to be a good day. But the way Carlisle capitulated to a side on form, no better than themselves, will have the alarms bells ringing all the way back to Cumbria.
It will come as a timely reminder, with the January transfer window about to open, that the squad is short on strength in depth.
For manager Neil McDonald it was probably the most embarrassing experience of his short managerial career.
He said: "You can use excuses that we have had players out but I've never done that before and I'm not going to start now we have lost 5-0.
"We weren't good enough on the day. It was as simple as that. We didn't win the individual battle. We started off slow and when you concede three goals, the game's over really.
"The players have been taught a harsh lesson and people's expectations of us being a top six team have been shown over the last three games that we're not.
"But we have to work extremely hard and harder than we have done, because this is probably the worst defeat so far because we have been totally outplayed."
The warning signs were evident within seconds as Keiren Westwood turned away a volley from Rory Fallon following Leon Britton being given far too much room down the right.
The opening goal came on six minutes when Lee Trundle's spectacular overhead kick was palmed away by Westwood, only to fall to Dennis Lawrence who smashed home from close range.
The second came nine minutes later when Darren Pratley got to the byline to square for Fallon to volley home.
And with the overworked Westwood working himself into a sweat, the inevitable third came on 27 minutes when Andy Robinson was allowed to run unchallenged from halfway before unleashing a 25-yard shot into the top corner.
In a rare foray into the Swansea half, Kevin Gall (pictured) rattled the crossbar but Westwood then had to make another three saves from Robinson to maintain respectability. The half-time whistle was a blessing.
After a brief flurry of possession for Carlisle, the second half proved as predictable as the first with the game effectively out of reach in three second half minutes.
The irrepressible Trundle set up Pratley to rifle home the fourth on 59 minutes and then saw a shot blocked that teed up Fallon to score his second.