Norwest FC went close in their FFA Cup debut but suffered a 3-2 loss to the Gerringong Breakers.
The side ended the match with just nine men but were pushing for an equaliser right to the final whistle.
Norwest coach Jim Katsetas said two red cards in quick succession was the turning point.
“I thought overall we controlled the game quite well and we put ourselves under pressure by the two sendoffs,” he said.
“It’s the first hit out our guys have had and (Gerringong) won the first grade premiership in Wollongong so I thought we matched them quite well.
“We were creating chances, which is the pleasing part, if we weren’t creating chances then I’d be worried.”
Despite a strong showing, Norwest were behind 2-1 at half-time on the back of a Maistro Chrisafis goal and were looking for something special in the second.
The first red card provided inspiration for Norwest as Michael Khoury beat several defenders to even the score.
However, a second red card helped the Breakers seal the result, move into round three of the FFA Cup and eliminate Norwest.
Ahead of the first season of the Hills Football Association, Katsetas said “if we play like this then we’ll be competitive”.
“I thought it was just going to be the two teams here today but, there was plenty of support for the boys which was good,” he said.