WARRNAMBOOL has snapped Ballarat’s 11-game winning streak in the men’s division one section of the Ballarat District Soccer Association.
The underdogs triumphed 1-0 in a pulsating affair at Morshead Park’s synthetic pitch on Sunday.
A goal to the ever-impressive Martin Van Rooy at the 75-minute-mark put the visitors ahead after a strong start to the second-half.
Van Rooy got on the end of a through ball that split the Ballarat defence and showed enough class to put the strike past the Ballarat keeper.
Ballarat almost had a golden opportunity when a player was taken down inside the box with less than 30 seconds left in the match, only for the referee to ignore the deafening calls for a penalty.
Warrnambool coach Nick Van Rooy wasn’t surprised with the win, despite his side still sitting five points behind the benchmark team.
“Between the two of us we’ve been pretty close all year round – it was a great game and with the conditions of the pitch it was back and forth all day,” Van Rooy said.
“Both teams held up defensively very well and they didn’t have a lot of real opportunities.
“Our back four in particular really stood up.”
Ballarat coach Tony Clayworth said the result was “disappointing” from a club perspective, but good for the competition.
“It’s disappointing to lose our unbeaten record, but I think that we’re still playing good football,” Clayworth said.
“It’s fairly obvious on Saturday night that Warrnambool are our main contender and in terms of local competition it’s really good that there are now two teams pushing each other.
“I wouldn’t say that we got a little bit complacent, but it (the result) has shown that they can beat us on their day.”
In other results, Forest Rangers defeated North United 4-3 and Vic Park retained its third place on the ladder with a 2-1 victory over Castlemaine.