It was a day to forget for the Western Sydney Wanderers’ PS4 NPL2 outfit after the Red & Black succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to the Marconi Stallions at Marconi Stadium on Sunday.
A second-half penalty from forward Marko Jesic handed Marconi the three points after the Wanderers' Moudi Najjar had cancelled out Peter Markovic’s opener.
The win means the third-placed Stallions remain in the Premiership hunt, while the second-placed Wanderers failed to capitlise on league leaders Sydney FC dropping points over the weekend.
The Stallions started the brighter of the sides, with forward pair Sean Rooney and Mirjan Pavlovic spurning a flurry of early chances.
In reply, the Wanderers’ Brenton Fox had a fantastic opportunity to open the scoring though he blazed his shot over the bar from close range.
It was a gilt-edged chance the Wanderers would soon rue, as Peter Markovic struck home from the edge of the box after the Red & Black had failed to clear a corner.
As the half drew to a close, both sides spurned golden goal-scoring chances, with Fox again coming close after intercepting a back-pass and nudging the ball the wrong side of the post.
Though the Wanderers would get their goal moments later as Moudi Najjar slotted the ball into the net after a mazy run from Lawrence Hanna.
The home side weren’t deterred by giving up their advantage and they came out guns blazing in the second stanza; Pavlovic in particular causing the Wanderers back line all sorts of problems.
Hanna and Tariq Maia both had half-chances though the Red & Black were struggling to pierce a physical Marconi outfit.
The Stallions would soon regain the lead, as Pavlovic was up-ended inside the box, the referee awarding the penalty with little hesitation.
Jesic converted the spot-kick with ease and the Stallions were able to protect their lead for the remainder of the match without little resistance from the Wanderers.
The win means the Stallions now sit just two points behind the second-placed Wanderers, who in turn trail Sydney FC by a single point with two rounds remaining.
The Wanderers will look to get things back on track when they take on Mounties Wanderers FC at Valentine Sports Park next Sunday.
Marconi Stallions 2 (Peter Markovic 15’, Marko Jesic (pen) 75’
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Moudi Najjar 44’)
Western Sydney Wanderers: Matthew Symes (GK), Tate Russell, Henry Davies, Abdelrahmen Kuku, Hanna, Keanu Baccus, Tariq Maia, Moudi Najjar, Kyle Cimenti, Malcom Ward, Brenton Fox
Substitutes: Nicholas Suman (GK), Lachlan Campbell, Jordan Morfitis, Matthew Leece, Tacettin Kumsuz
20s: Marconi Stallions 3-2 WSW
18s: Marconi Stallions 1-2 WSW
16s: Sydney FC 4-3 WSW
15s: Sydney FC 1-2 WSW
14s: Sydney FC 0-1 WSW
13s: Sydney FC 4-2 WSW