Hoppers out of cup

Hoppers Crossing is still searching for first win. (Supplied)

Hoppers Crossing’s Australia Cup campaign has come to an end but not without a fight on Wednesday night.

The Reds were the underdogs heading into the round six clash with Melbourne SRBIJA, with a spot in the national stage of the competition.

Melbourne SRBIJA opened the scoring early at Grange Reserve and had a 1-0 goal lead at half time.

The side used its experience late in the game to run away with a 5-0 win.

Reds coach Kevin Smart said he was proud of the group to reach that stage of the competition.

“We are one of five state league 2 sides to have reached that point of the competition,” he said.

“I’m really proud of the way the boys played last [Wednesday] night. We played one of the better teams in the NPL.

“We ran out of legs and the score looked a lot worse than it was. The boys need to take credit for the run.”

The Reds’ cup run has been the shining light in the Reds season so far.

While they had claimed five wins in the cup competition, they’re yet to taste victory in the state league 2 north-west competition.

Smart said they weren’t doing much differently in the cup games than they were in the league.

“I think we’ve had some more polished performances,” he said. “Sometimes it’s a bit of luck and nothing has gone our way.

“We need a little bit more composure. At the same time, I think that our performances aren’t reflected in the results.

Smart said playing against some higher ranked teams in the cup, had suited their style of play.

He said they would review their cup game and the result from last week and see what they have to change.

“I think a win or two under our belt will put us back where we need to be,” he said.

“We’ve only got two or three players from last year and we are still kind of gelling. The boys are getting better with knowing each other’s runs.

“We’re still a work in progress.”

The Reds face Lalor United in round eight as it searches for its first win.

Smart said they would look to make one or two changes to their side to keep them fresh, but backed the young side to be able to back up.