THE Sebastopol Vikings have dropped to third on the State League North-West ladder after going down against new ladder leaders Western Eagles on Saturday.
Despite another score from defender-turned goalkicker Pietro Angeli in the 85th minute, the Vikings were unable to match the top team, going down 2-1 in a game that will no doubt stay fresh in the team's memory going forward.
The obvious quality of the match was there throughout as both teams worked to set-up the goals, but solid defence from both teams kept the game tight for much of the match.
The Eagles opened the scoring in the 38th minute through Matthew Lodkowski who kicked his fourth goal of the season.
The Vikings made a number of forced substitutions after a series of inquires in the opening half, but try as they may, the Eagles were able to hold up with some strong defence, showing the reason why they are seen as one of the best sides in the competition.
The home side then doubled the lead in the Matthew Napoli in the 64th minute against the run of play after the Vikings looked to be getting on.
It took until the final five minutes of regulation for Angeli's goal to breathe some life into the finish and while there were plenty of opportunities in the last few moments, the Vikings has one last chance to put the equaliser on the board, but a 93rd minute penalty hit the post, ending a frustrating game for the Sebastopol team.
There was better news in the reserves however with the Vikings slamming home seven goals in a 7-3 rout of the Eagles.
After 12 games of the season, the Vikings reserves sit well clear on top of the ladder with 10 wins, a draw and just the one loss. The senior team though will be keen to turn around a recent patch of up-and-down results which has seen them drop two places, but remain just two points off top.
Importantly, the Vikings also find themselves six points clear of fourth-placed Williamstown.
They will be confident of getting back on the winners list next weekend when they return home to face Fawkner on Saturday afternoon.