BALLARAT Red Devils conceded a handy lead to fall 2-3 to Fitzroy City at Morshead Park.
Leading 2-1 at the break the Haymes Red Devils conceded two late goals again after being the better team for most of the day in the Football Federation Victoria state league two.
Ballarat has now lost seven matches by one goal and drawn two games.
The Reds started well and went ahead on 17 minutes when Rhyse Crowe knocked in a corner.
When the ball was headed back to him, his shot took a deflection and rifled into the top of the net from a tight angle.
But the lead was short-lived.
City scored eight minutes later against the run of play.
The Reds went ahead on 36 minutes when Bolish Salvatore won the ball in his own half.
Salvatore then took off playing a one-two with Will Georgiou before running at full pace 50 metres and, getting into the box, thumped the ball past the City keeper with very little angle to play with.
The Reds then pummelled the City goal.
Simon Murphy missed two good chances that would have almost sealed the match.
Further fellow up-shots from Liam Harding, Stefan Nigro and Josh Romein were all close.
Crowe then forced the City keeper into a great save as he turned around a thumping drive from all of 25 yards.
Reds keeper Rick Janssen then made a fine save at the other end to keep Ballarat in front at the break.
Ballarat coach Sinisa Cohadzic said the missed chances hurt.
“We were more than good value for our lead and to be honest should really have been three or four in front,” Cohadzic said.
“We dominated most of the half, but just didn’t take the chances that we should have to put the match out of reach of Fitzroy.”
Murphy could have scored two goals in the opening 10 minutes of the second half but again his first touch was not as it should have been and the opportunity went begging.
Just as in the first half, City scored out of nothing on 75 minutes, this time a penalty after Salvatore tripped a Fitzroy forward in the box.
The Reds kept going forward.
Fitzroy scored a scrambled goal with seven minutes to play in the Ballarat box to win the match.
Cohadzic said his players kept fighting and needed to find something to turn their luck about.
“We are our own worst enemies most of the time due to lack of putting away our scoring chances to kill off the game,” Cohadzic said.
“On top of that we have had lapses at the back that have hurt us as well.
“It is expected with such a young group for them to lack the capacity to sustain the same level of playing for the full 90 minutes, but if we could only capitalise when we are a goal in front and finish off the teams the season would look totally different.”