The Western Sydney Wanderers suffered their first loss of the NPL pre-season campaign when Macarthur Rams scored a 90th minute winner to claim a 1-0 victory at Lynwood Park on Thursday night.
It was a youthful line-up for the Wanderers with the U20 Academy squad making-up the majority of the starting XI.
Despite a slightly dour beginning to the match with some obvious pre-season cobwebs for both teams, the match built into an interesting spectacle as the minutes went on.
Wanderers had the ascendency and could have had the lead midway through the half when Brenton Fox wormed his way past three defenders in the box only to small his shot against the left upright.
Cordier too was creating chances from left back, firstly finding himself in space for a shot off-target before travelling along the by-line only minutes later to see his shot from a tight angle saved.
While Rams were pinned in their own half, often with ten men behind the ball, they launched a number of counter-attacks that could have seen them take the lead if it wasn’t for poor finishing.
The second half began as the first one played out: Wanderers creating a number of chances while Rams were still dangerous on the counter.
Michael Trajkovski in particular, who made his Hyundai A-League debut last season, had a number of half chances but poor touches denied him a chance to get on the score sheet.
Tom Woerndl, Jordan Morfitis and Brandon Stojcevski all had chances for the Wanderers but it was the introduction of Brett Hay for the Rams that made the biggest impact.
Hay was a menace as soon as he entered the field, hitting the crossbar with about ten minutes to go after an impressive run while expertly holding off defenders.
His goal would come too, as Hay received a penetrative pass from midfield to score the last minute winner.
Up next for Wanderers is another pre-season match, this time against APIA Leichhardt this Sunday at Lambert Park. Kick-off ids 10:30am with the U20s playing at 8:30am.
First half XI: Daniel Axford, Daniel Blachura, Solomon Monahan-Vaiika, Abdelrahman Kuku, Mathieu Cordier, Evan Patramanis, Charlie Abou, Matthew Lecce (Jordan Morfitis), Jason Perez, Michael Trajkovski, Brenton Fox
Second half XI: Daniel Axford, Tom Woerndl, Ryan Blumberg, Abdelrahman Kuku, Daniel Blachura, Evan Patramanis, Charlie Abou (Michael Trajkovski), Jason Perez (Solomon Monahan-Vaiika), Brandon Stojcevski, Jordan Morfitis, Brenton Fox (Matthew Lecce)