Melbourne Victory was edged 2-1 by Manningham United Blues in the NPL2 West on Sunday.
Despite appearing the more dominant team, Victory fell behind to another penalty, Billy Romas converting for Manningham at Epping Stadium.
Lucas Johns doubled Manningham’s lead before Ryan Lethlean’s late effort for Victory.
Victory was the brighter of the two teams throughout the first half, with William Wilson shooting over from 20 yards after a Nishan Velupillay pass in the fifth minute.
After lacking a final pass, Victory fell behind approaching half-time, conceding a penalty for the fourth straight week.
Aaron Anderson produced a miraculous goal-line clearance before a spot-kick was awarded for a foul by Andrew Visciglio, Romas stepping up to convert in the 34th minute.
Victory goalkeeper Matthew Sutton made a brilliant save just before the break, diving low to his left to push away a Romas effort.
After a scrappy start to the second half, Manningham doubled its lead through Johns, who tapped in a cross from the right.
Substitute Lethlean threatened for Victory in the 72nd minute, volleying wide from 20 yards after a pass from Aydin Mustedanagic.
Lethlean would pull a goal back late on, scoring from close range after Daniel Aye’s strike was parried, but Victory was unable to find an equaliser.
Head coach Gareth Naven’s post-match thoughts
“I was really happy with the performance of the players. I thought they were brave to get on the ball, always pushing to score a goal, clumsy penalty, some one v one defending, some errors that we need to be able to address and fix a lot earlier. Overall, I thought the introduction of Hamakiotis, Wilson, Jack Morton, (born) 2001, Nishan, some really good energy, Ryan Lethlean who came on as well, (born) 2002, some really good energy from those players who played the majority of the game so in regards to that I thought as a group they had a good attitude, good discipline, well sacrificed and unfortunately they didn’t get the rewards today in regards to the result, but the performance some good things happened today which they should be happy about.”
NPL2 West 2019 Round 24
Melbourne Victory 1 (Ryan Lethlean 90′)
Manningham United Blues 2 (Billy Romas 34′ pen, Lucas Johns 66′)
Melbourne Victory: Matthew Sutton (gk) (c); Andrew Visciglio, Matthew Bozinovski, Aaron Anderson (Ryan Lethlean), Aydin Mustedanagic; William Wilson, Jack Morton; Nishan Velupillay (Daniel Aye), Nicholas Hamakiotis, Yazid Said; Nuh Sehavdic (Stefan Ristic).
Victory’s under-20s thrashed Manningham United Blues 8-0.