The Wanderers have given their all but have fallen just short in hard to take 3-2 loss to Melbourne City at Bankwest Stadium on Friday night.
The fixture lived up to the previous encounters between the two sides with plenty of goals, action, and controversy.
But, no-one could deny the wholehearted effort of the Wanderers, who came from a goal down to level at 2-2 with 10 minutes to play only to fall to an injury-time killer blow from Jamie Maclaren.
This was the Wanderers best performance of the season and they deserved so much more out of it.
Kwame Yeboah was one of a number of outstanding performers scoring a goal in each half while Daniel Georgievski and Bruce Kamau were also in the thick of the action for most of the 90 minutes.
Georgievski was battered and bruised after copping some heavy treatment yet he was still going to the very end.
Head coach Markus Babbel made two changes to the side beaten by Western United on November with Bruce Kamau and Nick Sullivan returning from injury and coming in for Alex Meier and Keanu Baccus.
The different-looking Wanderers line-up got off to a flying start to take the lead just two minutes into the game through Yeboah after some brilliant lead up work.
It was Yeboah who started the move, cheating the ball down for Mitchell Duke who then delivered a quality ball that put Bruce Kamau into space on the right.
Kamau played a delightful cross to the far post where Yeboah was on the spot to sweep the ball home into the right corner of the net. There were some nervous moments as the VAR looked at a possible off-side before the all clear was given.
Kamau, who had impressed as an overlapping fullback during the pre-season was deployed in the attacking third for this game and he relished his return to the position as he caused all sorts of problems for the City defence.
The Yeboah-Kamau combination was at it against just eight minutes later, this time Kamau’s cross found Duke at far post but he just couldn’t get enough power and direction in his header and it was safely collected by goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis.
The Red & Black were doing well to control the game, but City did create one chance in the half with Josh Brillante powering a shot from outside the box. But, the Wanderers “Mr Impenetrable”, goalkeeper Daniel Lopar pulled off a spectacular save on 22 minutes.
Daniel Georgievski, on the wrong end of a rugged tackle from Harrison Delbridge that eared the city defender a yellow card in the 30th minute, produced one of the highlights of the half right on half time.
The right-back showed all his skill, collecting a ball on the run and firing a curling left-footed effort that forced Bouzanis into a superb save.
Unfortunately, the visitors found themselves on level terms 10 minutes into the second half after they were awarded a controversial penalty after Pirmin Schwegler was ruled to have brought down Denis Genreau.
Lopar could do nothing to prevent Jamie Maclaren scoring from the spot as he was sent the wrong way by the Socceroo.
Tempers became a little frayed in the 67th minute when Georgievski was clattered from behind. A number of players from both sides then got involved in some push and shove with Dylan McGowan and Rostyn Griffiths earning yellow cards.
City took the lead 2-1 on 73 minutes when Josh Brillante scored from close range.
Not to be outdone, the Wanderers once again showed their resilience to get back all score in the 80th minute.
Georgievski whipped in a lovely cross from the right to the far post for substitute Alex Meier who headed it back into the path of Yeboah. The striker made no mistake slamming his effort into the back of the net.