It was a case of Groundhog Day for Port Saints at Findlay Park on Saturday when Southern United performed the perfect snatch-and-grab mission on the way to a 1-0 win.
The Ospreys opened the scoring in the first half and were then reduced to 10-men when they had a player sent off before half-time.
Saints again looked slick between the two 18-yard boxes, but found themselves incapable of breaking down a resolute defence.
“We just couldn’t score; (we) had however many minutes playing against 10 men and we couldn’t score… we’ve done that before,” Saints coach Ollie King said.
“They were timewasting as well as you do and they got the three points so good on them.
“We couldn’t get the goal… couldn’t get any goals so it was a bit of a pain in the arse and a frustrating day at the office.”
The Port Macquarie side has the opportunity to right some wrongs today when they host Coffs Tigers in a postponed match from earlier in the season.
If Saints have any ambitions of making the finals, King knows it’s a match they have to get a result from.
“Every game is must-win at this point. If we want to make the finals, every game is must-win,” he said.
“I know we’ve got the capability to compete against every team, so it’s not like we’re dreaming to say we’ve got to win every game. We’re competitive, we’ve just got to do it.”
An inconsistent run with closed training fields is starting to have a negative effect on Saints’ ability to change what they’re doing.
King said they desperately need some consistency with training.
“We’ve been training a certain way, but when you can’t get on a full-sized pitch with goals… we’ve had 10 training sessions on our field all season so that makes it hard,” he said.
“If we find that missing ingredient or if you know where it is, let me know.
“We’ll start with one and see if we need to force ourselves to stop. I don’t think we’ll be stop trying to score any time soon.”