SEBASTOPOL Vikings coach Michael Busija admits his side will have to ask some tough questions after failing to register a win in their first five outings of the 2016 Football Federation Victoria state league four west competition.
A poor 18 minutes either side of the break cost the Vikings dearly in their clash with Balmoral on Saturday night, with the Ballarat side surrendering a 2-0 lead early in the piece to fall 4-3 after the end of the 90 minutes.
While Luke Swards was able to find the back of the net twice in the early stages of the first half, the home side managed to claw back a major in the 37th minute to narrow the visitor’s lead to one goal going into the change.
The opening stanza of the second half saw an onslaught of goals from Balmoral, with the home side hitting the scoreboard in the 49th, 52nd and 55th minutes to quickly extend a two goal lead over Sebastopol. Of the four goals scored by Balmoral, three were the result of corners.
Aided by a Balmoral red card which was handed out after Sebastopol’s Will Georgio was kicked following a tackle, the Vikings pressed ahead in an attempt to salvage a point.
Alex Antonelli managed to find the goals in the 83rd minute to give the Vikings a glimmer of hope going into the dying stages, however the run was too little too late.
Busija described the 18 minute period either side of half time as an “implosion” which ultimately cost the Vikings the game.
“Aside for those 18 minutes I thought we were the better side, but you can’t concede four goals in 18 minutes and expect to win,” Busija said. “We don’t think we’ve been playing that bad all season but in the five games we’ve conceded 14 goals, and you’re not going to win many games of football if you’ve got to kick three or four goals.”
Busija said he would look to make some changes to the side ahead of their clash with Spring Hills at home next weekend, with a number of reserves players pushing hard for selection following their undefeated start to the season.
The Vikings will also be aided by the return of attacking midfielder Paul McClounan, who has been playing with state league two side Corio for the past two seasons after leaving the Vikings.
“He gives us is a lot of combativeness with the drive through midfield and the ability to run both ways,” Busija said.
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