Sunbury United’s quest to avoid relegation hit a major hurdle with a loss to bottom-of-the-ladder Corio in FFV state league 1 north-west on Saturday.
With the bottom two sides to be relegated, United went into the round in 10th place, only goal difference ahead of Westgate but six points ahead of Corio.
But the 2-0 loss to Corio and Westgate’s 5-0 win over Cairnlea means United is now 11th and in the relegation zone.
United coach Greg Czapnik said before the game that the Corio game was the most important of the year.
“Every game is like a six-point game,” he said.
“It’s so tight down the bottom of the ladder.”
Most frustratingly for Czapnik is his side’s inability to convert its chances in so many games.
He said there were at least six or seven matches in which Sunbury lost after dominating the game.
This was most recently on show in United’s 1-0 loss to Sydenham Park two weeks ago.
“It was laughable and it’s a game which got away,” Czapnik said.
“We missed at least eight clear-cut chances . . . we should have been 6-0 up at half-time.
“They got a gift of a goal through a goalkeeping error, which was hard to take. If it was another team they would have scored a bagful.”
Czapnik said his side needs to keep creating chances.
“There isn’t much more I can ask for from the boys,” he said.
“Eventually something will turn and I pity the side we’re playing when it does.
“Our defence has been solid the last few weeks.
“You can only put it down to confidence.
“We analyse games afterwards and you don’t sleep on a Saturday night; you think about what you can do better.”
One thing in United’s favour is they have two games in hand over Westgate.
“Our fate is in our control,” he said.
In state league 5 west, Kyneton District defeated Sporting Carlton 4-3.
Ryan Cole scored two goals for the Rangers, with Shaun Dukic and Daniel Reeves each scoring once.
Gisborne lost 2-0 to Melbourne Lions.
The Rangers are fifth on the ladder and Gisborne remains seventh.