The Goulburn Valley Suns’ under-20s fell to their first defeat of the season in a disappointing 1-0 loss to Langwarrin.
Coming off a round one win against Dandenong City where the Suns played attacking football, they could not back up the performance in tough Langwarrin conditions.
Coach Stuart Vance could not hide his frustration with his side’s display.
‘‘We struggled quite a bit, to be honest,’’ he said.
‘‘The weather made it difficult and the pitch was not the best, but those things are the same for both teams.
‘‘They seemed to handle the conditions a lot better, they outmuscled us, worked harder and got rewarded for that.’’
Langwarrin’s Alex Whyte produced the game’s only goal just after the hour, with the Suns pressing higher up the pitch in response, but not able to create any chances of real substance.
Two rounds into the marathon campaign, Vance said he had expected much more from his side.
‘‘Not at all what we expected, we expected we’d play way better really,’’ he said.
‘‘If we played how we had during the preseason games, I think we could have won pretty easily.
‘‘Because we’re under-20s, our performance can really depend on which players filter down.
‘‘A few guys couldn’t play and there’s a lot of different factors, but we had a completely different team and were forced to play some guys in different positions.’’
With no shortage of areas to drill in training, the coach said controlling the ball was top of the agenda.
‘‘A key area to improve is our ball possession and retention, we turned the ball over way too quickly,’’ he said.
‘‘They pressed us and we coughed the ball up way too easily and we’ll work on that, because it’s something we should be good at.’’
Vance pointed to Zac Hutchison as the team’s best contributor, with the central midfielder’s effort and commitment impressing.
The Suns host Nunawading City on Saturday evening.