Ballarat City suffered defeat for the first time in season 2018 after conceding a late goal in Saturday’s clash with Whittlesea Ranges.
The City boys were beaten inside the last 10 minutes of regular time after the visitors nailed a free kick to clinch a 2-1 result.
The win was the Ranges’ first success of the National Premier Leagues Victoria 2 campaign.
Early in the fixture at Morshead Park, Ballarat took the lead when Nelson Salvatore found the back of the net inside the opening minutes of the contest.
The City outfit held that 1-0 advantage until the Ranges levelled the scores at about 55 minutes through a corner that sailed in at the back post.
This deadlock remained until the visitors scored from another stoppage to secure all three points from the round three encounter.
Ballarat City manager Danny Gnjidic said it was disappointing to lose given he felt his side had the better of the chances.
I definitely feel like we deserved something out of the game"Ballarat City manager Danny Gnjidic
“I definitely feel like we deserved something out of the game,” Gnjidic said.
Gnjidic said his charges were hurting after the game, but took positives out of the fact that there had been good consistency from his team’s performances so far in 2018.
Saturday’s result follows a draw in the opening round of the campaign and victory against St Albans the following weekend.
Ballarat City now prepares to take on Werribee City next weekend.
Ballarat City’s under-20 outfit had a 2-2 draw with Whittlesea Ranges.
Mitchell Todd and Lachlan Wright scored Ballarat’s goals.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Sebastopol Vikings were sent crashing out of the Football Federation Australia Cup.
The side suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of state league two outfit Mazenod Victory at St George’s Reserve.
Sebastopol led the contest 2-0 at half time after an early brace from Jal Tuany.
The visitors pulled a goal back in the 70th minute and then levelled the scores with 10 minutes to play. The winner came in the 85th minute when Vincent Vazquez drove home a goal from near the penalty spot.
Vikings manager Corey Smith said he was proud of the effort against a higher-ranked opponent, but added that it was not acceptable to cough up a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2.
“I thought we were superb for the majority of the game, but the turning point really was their first goal, which was scrappy and I thought was clearly a foul on one of our players,” Smith said.
“But from that moment they took over. Further into the season, with better fitness in the squad, we might have got a different result, but I’m happy with where we are at this stage of the pre-season.”
The Vikings are now looking forward to getting their men’s state league three season underway.
The club’s campaign kicks off on March 24 with a home clash against Fawkner.
Fawkner was the team the Vikings defeated in a playoff last season to gain promotion to state league three.