IT has been the story of the season so far for the Sebastopol Vikings.
The club has suffered yet another close loss, this time to Melbourne City in Football Federation Victoria’s state league 4 season at St Georges Reserve.
The 1-0 margin marks the sixth time in eight rounds that the Vikings have been defeated by just a single goal.
Coach Michael Busija was left to rue a late lapse in concentration, which saw his team concede a goal from a scramble in the box at the 88-minute mark.
The Vikings were put at a disadvantage earlier in the game when Kyran Taylor re-injured his hamstring in his first match back. Taylor’s teammates lifted to cover his loss and the two sides entered half-time at 0-0.
Frantic end-to-end play in the second-half saw a number of opportunities open up but the defensive mindsets of both clubs still made scoring hard to come by.
The Vikings entered the match with five first-choice players missing from the squad.
“We were stretched (depth wise) and that really put us against the wall,” Busija said.
“In saying that, we’ve got a pretty deep squad but it’s being tested. We were honest and brave and we had a few little knocks and niggles and fatigue issues to play through.”
Meanwhile, the Vikings’ reserves continue to deliver.
The 2-1 win over their City counterparts sees them rise to second spot on the ladder with five wins, two losses and a draw.
Josh Antonelli played his first match for the year after sustaining a serious hand injury in the pre-season. Antonelli is expected to play several more matches with the reserves squad to build the necessary match fitness required for selection in senior ranks.
The Vikings take on Surf Coast next week in round nine of competition.