The Western NSW Mariners crashed back to earth on Sunday with a 4-0 loss to the Southern District Raiders at Jack Brabham Park.
Just one week earlier the men’s team was celebrating after knocking off the top team, Rydalmere Lions 3-2, on their home turf in western Sydney.
But, with their eyes on a finals position the fifth-placed Raiders were too strong for the Mariners in Orange.
The Raiders have been a form team of the second half of the season picking up six wins and three draws out of the nine games since the midway point of the season.
However, the Mariners’ loss left it in 12th on the ladder with four wins and four draws for the season.
Captain Adam Scimone said the turnaround in fortunes was down to attitude.
“It was disappointing not to back up,” he said.
“It was pretty disappointing overall.
“Unfortunately the attitude was a bit wrong. We weren’t up for the game.”
Scimone said the wind was a factor but it was a level playing field as both teams had to deal with it.
He said the Logan brothers, Brock and Duncan, were among the best players.
“Brock, in goal, even though he let in four goals, he pulled off a few saves.
“Duncan, in the midfield, was pretty good.”
The Raiders’ goals were scored by Mitchell Mclintock, Mark Symington, Joh Fahimi and Tyrone Gatt.
Scimone said the element of surprise had played into their hands the previous week against Rydalmere.
“I guess it was a sort of David and Goliath battle. They thought they would win.
“But we didn’t want to lie down and let that happen.”
The Rydalmere team includes former Socceroo and English club Fulham player Ahmad Elrich who has scored 13 goals this year.
Unfortunately the draw doesn’t get any easier for the Western NSW team with four games to go.
Next week it faces Dulwich Hill FC in Sydney.
“Dulwich Hill, they are top four and their home ground is artificial, it’s a little bit faster, so that will be pretty tough.”
A win against cellar-dwelling Balmain Tigers FC in Mudgee on Friday August 18 could prove vital to ensure Western NSW avoid relegation from the NPL3 division.
It is the only remaining game against a team below them on the ladder.
Scimone said that with the points from both the senior team and the club’s two under-age teams tallied to determine relegation and promotion he was confident they would survive.
“We’re pretty safe,” he said.
The Mariners finish the season on September 3 playing Sydney University.