The casual observer looking at the 0-all half-time scoreline in Tamworth FC's clash with Norths United on Saturday could have been excused for thinking it was a real arm-wrestle.
But that couldn't have been further from the truth.
Picking up where they left off in the opening round (an 8-nil thrashing of East Armidale), the premiers dominated territory and possession, and for much of the half it seemed only a matter of time before they found the net.
But they either miscued wide or over the top, or were denied by Norths' scrambling defence.
Kurt Barrow eventually put them ahead from the penalty spot in the 53rd minute.
Five minutes later Chris Hughes doubled their advantage as they made it two from two to start the season.
"I knew if we did score that more would come," FC coach Greg Bartlett said.
He was a bit disappointed they didn't slot a few more goals but was on the whole happy with the performance.
"I was really happy with the way we played and the way we executed," he said.
"Our finishing wasn't brilliant."
"(But) It will come."
It was another ruthless display from the premiers, the 2-nil scoreline not a true reflection of the game.
"Norths United didn't have too many chances and long passages of play in their half," Bartlett said.
He conceded half-time probably came at a good time for them. They were starting to get frustrated at their inability to score and rushing things a bit.
"They played a lot better in the second half," he said.
"They played well in the first half but I thought our second half was better."
They played a really good possession game.
"We kept the ball, we didn't panic on it," he said.
"(And) Our passing game was really good, which is what they've done with me for 18 months."
The defence wasn't really troubled but shut the play down any time Norths got too close.
Hughes was a standout, Bartlett remarking that he picked up where he left off last season.
Asked what he particularly liked about Hughes' game, the FC mentor replied "everything".
"He contested everything. The ball is not dead at any time," he said.
"He does a power of work."
He thought Zac Kam and Sam Coates were both good in only their second games while Bree Gowland showed some good signs up front in his first run.
"It will take time to gel with the other players," Bartlett said.
Barrow typically worked hard while Hayden Davidson turned in a strong performance under some duress. He was crook and found himself up front when Cameron Potter did his hamstring mid-way through the first half.
Bartlett did pay credit to an under strength Norths.
"They had a few back up. It was a pretty good effort from them," he said.