Ballarat City allows gap to close up

Patrick Karras

Patrick Karras

Ballarat City has left the relegation door ajar with a disappointing 2-1 defeat away from home on Saturday.

The Ballarat boys could have secured the club’s status in the National Premier Leagues Victoria 2 competition next season with victory against bottom side Sunshine George Cross, but allowed the visitors to snatch all three points from the contest.

It was a clinical header by Abdirahman Ahmed that sunk the visitors, with his winning goal coming in the 78th minute.

Ballarat took the lead in the 37th minute when Patrick Karras converted following some good work by Jake Francis. However, that goal was cancelled out when Su-Beom An scored deep in first half stoppage time.

Manager Danny Gnjidic was left frustrated by Ballarat City’s inability to convert “three really good chances” in the first half and felt his team should have had the match in its keeping by the break.

“We should have been out of sight,” Gnjidic told The Courier.

“It was disappointing because they (Ballarat players) knew they should have got something out of the game and let them off the hook.”

While frustrated to have dropped the points on Saturday afternoon, Gnjidic knows his side still has relegation destiny in its own hands.

As it stands, Ballarat remains four points clear of Sunshine George Cross with three matches to play.

The team will have a break next weekend due to a catch-up round before a home clash against powerhouse Altona Magic on Saturday, August 25.

Altona secured the NPLV2 north-west title at the weekend with victory over Brunswick City.

After that, Ballarat has two away fixtures to finish the campaign. First comes Brunswick City, with North Geelong Warriors the opponent in the last round of the year on September 8.

Sunshine George Cross, which lost to Ballarat City 5-0 at Morshead Park early in the season, will conclude its year with games against the Warriors, Melbourne Victory and Whittlesea Ranges.