There was no magic for St Albans in the FFA Cup. The Saints went down 3-1 to lower league Moreland City after leading early in their on-the-road quest at Campbell Reserve on Saturday.
To add to their woes, two more names were added to the Saints’ ever-growing injury list, with a hamstring injury to star recruit Hernan Espindola and an ankle sprain to veteran Ryan McGuffie.
Saints’ coach Kruni Razov must have walked under a ladder during the off season to have such bad luck at the start of the campaign.
“The first six weeks have been a disaster for us in terms of injuries,” he said. “We’ve got more first XI players out than we’ve got training, so we didn’t go in overly confident.
“I’m not making any excuses because that’s not what we’re about, but when you’re missing six players before the game, that doesn’t help.”
St Albans was looking good when Rodrigo Covarrubias headed home in the third minute to give the Saints an early lead. And the lead stood at half-time, but just three minutes after the break, City found a leveller.
Two more City goals in the space of four minutes midway through the second half killed off St Albans.
Razov admitted the result was disappointing, but he could not fault the commitment of his undermanned team.
“With what we had out there, we weren’t too bad,” he said.
“Even at 1-1, we had two or three really good opportunities to take the lead again, and even to equalise when we went down, but we didn’t take the chances.
“We were a little bit sloppy at the back and they took their chances.”
Jean Carlos Solorzano is better for the run. The most prolific St Albans signing in the off season is still not at full fitness.
“You can see he’s still a bit underdone,” Razov said.
“He’s coming back from a hamstring.
“We’re hoping he can make a difference once he gets up to full fitness.”
St Albans remains winless in its regular NPL competition.
The newly promoted side will travel to Bentleigh on Friday night eager to break its duck in the wins’ column.
“We’ve just got to pick ourselves up again and just keep going,” Razov said.