Western Sydney Wanderers have fallen just short of a miraculous comeback in their Round 7 NSW NPL 2 match-up against St George City.
The 3-2 result may have ended in defeat for the Red & Black but there will be plenty of positives for coach Patrick Zwaanswijk to take from a dominant second half performance.
Western Sydney headed into the match off the back of a four-game winning streak but were up against it from the first whistle at Poulton Park.
The home side looked desperate to make a statement and were physical right from the off, putting significant pressure on the Wanderers midfield and attack.
Despite being bombarded with attack after attack the away side held firm until the 21st minute when City’s Nathan Roberts finished neatly after the ball fell to him from a fine Oliver Kalac save.
Nine minutes later they had their second in somewhat fortuitous circumstances after Daniel George cleared Paolo Mitry’s shot into his own net.
Jason Romero grabbed the home side’s third just before the break with a curling effort that Kalac could only get a hand to on the way into the net.
At 3-0 down you could forgive the Red & Black for dropping their heads but instead they attacked the second half with relish, helped in no small part by the addition of Peter Grozos into the middle.
It was the man in question who pulled the first back after 10 minutes, launching a powerful, driven shot from the edge of the box and into the back of the net via a deflection.
Wanderers continued to take control of the game, growing in confidence as the half wore on as City looked increasingly nervous.
Ali Auglah, in such fine form this campaign, popped up to reduce the deficit to one with an audacious lob of the goalkeeper after being released with a fantastic through ball.
It wasn’t to be for Western Sydney however despite numerous attacking opportunities as St George held on for the three points.
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (P.Grozos 57’, Auglah 65’)
St George City FA 3 (Roberts 21’, Daniel OG 29’, Romero 41’)
Western Sydney Wanderers: 18. Oliver Kalac (GK), 3. Phillip Cancar, 4. Mohamed Al Taay, 9. Ali Auglah, 11. Lochlan Constable, 14. Alessandro Lopane, 15. Alexander Bonetig, 17. George Daniel (8. Joel Bertolissio), 21. Isaac Hovar, 23. Kosta Grozos (24. Peter Grozos), 29. Alex Badolato
Unused subs: 36. Jack Gibson (GK), 13. Lachlan Macdonald, 16. George Antonis, 19. Bilal Chihane