The Western Sydney Wanderers NPL 2 team have suffered a narrow defeat on Saturday night, falling 2-1 to Spirit FC at Christie Park.
Bailey Rule's first goal of the season put the Red & Black in front before a second half double from Duncan Stewart gave Spirit the victory.
The Wanderers started well with early chances from Mohamed Adam and Jarrod Carluccio deflected wide of the target.
Then on eight minutes, the Red & Black took the lead. Rule broke free of the defence at a corner, heading home to put the Wanderers in front.
The Red & Black continued to put the pressure on the opponents. Rule was getting forward to good effect and dribbled past two defenders, but his shot from the edge of the area was blocked.
Rule then set up Carluccio, whose effort was deflected behind for a corner.
With half time approaching, Marley Peterson got on the end of Adam's cross, forcing a good save from Spirit goalkeeper Tomislav Romic and Peterson had another go from the rebound, however, the angle was tight and he hit the side netting.
The roles were reversed in the first-half injury time as Peterson set up Adam who was denied by a last-ditch tackle.
The Wanderers kept it up after the break. On 53 minutes, Carluccio laid the ball off for Andrea Agamemnonos, who beat a defender and had a shot blocked by the defence.
There was another great chance just past the hour mark when Adam played a neat one-two with Constable and was through on goal, but he was denied by Romic.
With little over 20 minutes left, Spirit FC were awarded a penalty after a handball by Noah Pagden.
Stewart converted the spot-kick to level the scores and things would get worse for the Red & Black four minutes later when Lochlan Constable was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Now it was Spirit's turn to press. The Red & Black hung on, blocking several shots, however there would be heartbreak in the 85th minute with Stewart scoring again to give Spirit a 2-1 lead.
We went close to grabbing an equaliser twice in the dying minutes. Wanderers substitute Jacob Vasiliou shot inches wide of the post and in the fifth minute of stoppage time Fabian Monge's cross nearly found its way into the back of the net, but Romic was able to push the ball away.
The Wanderers stay in seventh place after the loss. There was better news in the earlier games as the U18s and U20s both recorded comfortable victories.
The Red & Black will now return to Sydney United Sports Centre for their next match against Bonnyrigg White Eagles on Saturday evening. Kick-off is at 7:00pm.
Spirit FC 2 (Duncan Stewart 69’ 85’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Bailey Rule 8’)
Western Sydney Wanderers: Nicholas Suman, Bailey Rule, Mohamed Al Taay, Noah Pagden, Adrian Valenti, Andrea Agamemnonos (c), Fabian Monge, Lochlan Constable, Jarrod Carluccio (Callum Watt 82’), Mohamed Adam (Ali Auglah 65’), Marley Peterson (Jacob Vasiliou 86’)
Unused substitutes: Jack Greenwood, Rory Jordan
U20: Spirit 1-4 WSW
U18: Spirit 2-7 WSW