By Lance Jenkinson
Werribee City is ruing the game that got away.
The wasteful Bees are feeling sick to the stomach after inexplicably leaving two points on the table in a 1-1 draw with Moreland Zebras in a crucial NPL Victoria 2 west battle of the contenders at Galvin Park on Saturday.
Bees coach Sergio Sabbadini could not believe the amount of gilt-edged scoring opportunities his team frittered away in a game that could have seen them move to equal top of the ladder with two rounds to play.
Instead, the Bees are stuck in third spot, two points behind St Albans Saints and the Zebras, and kicking themselves for the bevy of missed chances.
“I thought we played close to the perfect game to be honest,” Sabbadini said.
“The defence was solid all day, the midfield was great and the strikers created havoc.
“The only thing that was lacking was the converting of chances.”
Werribee City trailed in the 11th minute after an opportunistic goal from prolific Zebras striker Thomas Barforosh.
Barforosh quickly pounced on a loose ball and trickled a mistimed shot past the goalkeeper.
“That was probably their only shot in the first half,” Sabbadini said.
Werribee City hit back from the penalty spot in the 37th minute.
Takanori Nishimoto got out of his sick bed to play his part for the Bees and it was significant as he drew a penalty when he was taken down by the goalkeeper.
Jake Butler stepped up from the spot and fired in the equaliser.
The second half was total frustration for Werribee City.
Multiple promising chances went by the wayside.
Aside for his own team’s inept finishing, Sabbadini also felt like his team could have got a second penalty in the game.
“We had a penalty for handball waved away and that was a definite penalty,” he said.
“Everyone saw it except the referee.
“You’ve just got to take it I guess.”
Tyler James and Brad Murray heavily influenced the game in the midfield for Werribee City.
Daniel Petrov and Sam McCall were standouts in defence.
The title race is not over for Werribee City, but they face a must-win game against league leaders St Albans Saints at Churchill Reserve on Sunday.
“It’s all still to play for,” Sabbadini said.
“There’s two games to play and funny things happen in football.
“We’ll just keep plugging away.”