Is that any way to treat last-minute hosts? It did occur to me beforehand that the enterprising Havant & Waterlooville official who put forward his team as emergency replacements probably had no idea what he was letting his boys in for. I would have expected Betis to have beaten Portsmouth soundly, so their part-time neighbours four rungs below them? Lambs to the slaughter, I'm afraid.
As a Havant director told the BBC, "I think we knew they were going to be good, but I don't think we knew how good they were going to be...This team was something else. We did the best we good."
Pepe Mel put out a full-strength side for the start of the game (minus Emaná, of course, of whom more later) and Betis were four-up inside quarter of an hour. Rubén Castro, looking sharp, scored three and made the other for Jorge Molina, who added a fifth just before half-time.
At the break Betis changed their entire 11 and the new team (featuring four young Betis B players) scored goals at the beginning and the end of the second half, through Jonathan Pareira and Salva Sevilla (a penalty).
A crowd of around 800 were on hand to see the game, including a group of around 100 impressively noisy Béticos, apparently. (If you were among them, please do tell us all about it in the comments below.)
Afterwards, the squad headed off to the next stage of their training camp in Cardiff, while club officials were trying to arrange a more testing friendly for midweek. Charlton Athletic are possible opponents on Wednesday evening, but this has yet to be confirmed.
Predictably, however, much of yesterday's most important Betis news was being made in the mobile phone ether between Hampshire and Seville and regarded Achille Emaná. The talks between Betis and Al-Hilal have reportedly broken down over the the Saudi club's failure to guarantee their payments, so president Miguel Guillén and coach Pepe Mel, not unreasonably, are politely asking their highest-paid player to get on a flight to GB ASAP.
"Once we'd checked that it wasn't a physical problem that had prevented him from travelling, but that it had been his choice, we told him that he has to join up with the squad," said Guillén yesterday. "If he doesn't do it, he'll be punished appropriately. We can't allow this kind of attitude. We're looking into what kind of fine we can give him, but this is a clear and serious breach of discipline."
As there doesn't seem any indication that Emaná is willing to travel to Cardiff, we now have ourselves a bit of a problem. Pepe Mel has always taken a hard line on players whose attitude he considers suspect - Nelson last year, for example - and he is said to be furious with the Cameroonian. The fans, to judge from the various Bético internet forums, have also turned against him. And yet, until a club comes in with a genuine, verifiable bid of €4million to €4.5million, Achille Emaná remains a Betis player. I think everyone's hoping that Al-Hilal will come back with those guarantees in the next day or two.
Betis (first half): Casto; Chica, Mario, Dorado, Nacho; Iriney, Beñat, Matilla; Jefferson Montero, Rubén Castro, Jorge Molina
(Second half): Goitia; Isidoro, Juanito Calahorro, Amaya, Álex Martínez; Vadillo, Arzu, Salva Sevilla; Momo, Pozuelo, Jonathan Pereira