BRUTAL defeat at the hands of Lithgow Workmans has left Abercrombie FC Gold assessing their future in Bathurst District Football men's premier league.
Abercrombie Gold were thoroughly outplayed in every aspect of Sunday's meeting at Proctor Park in an 11-0 defeat.
The season start has been rough going for the Gold side who went down 5-2 to last year's grand finalists Mudgee Wolves in the opening round before the recent hiding to Lithgow.
So rough that the club has formally requested a move down to second grade in order to preserve both player numbers and morale.
Abercrombie Gold re-applied for a start in BDF's best competition (to start alongside their top-string Abercrombie Navy clubmates) because they knew they would be asked to play there in order to make a seven-team competition.
Gold captain Alexis Le Masson was very hopeful but believes now that a full season in the top flight isn't sustainable.
"We've requested to BDF to have a look at our situation and possibly re-grade us to second grade. If the season keeps going like this we're going to keep losing and have players completely unmotivated," he said.
"We're hoping BDF will come back to us with a positive answer because the reality is that second grade is more of our level at the moment.
"If we play firsts all season long there may be a game or two that we could draw, or if we play a really good game we might be able to win, but last year it was a similar story and it wasn't enjoyable.
"We've already lost a few players to other teams because of the situation and if we stay in first grade it's going to be even worse by the end of the season."
Keep up to date with the latest sports news by clicking here.
Workmans were a cut above during Sunday's game from the outset, bouncing back from their 3-1 loss to Abercrombie Navy in the opening round.
Lithgow's Ben Sheehan was too much for the Abercrombie Gold defence to handle as he hit home seven goals.
"We already had four people injured so we filled the team with second graders and we had no subs. We had one more injury through the game so we ended up fielding 10 people," Le Masson said.
"Lithgow are strong, fit, organised and played really great football. They just destroyed us. After the sixth and seventh goals there just wasn't much motivation left in the team.
"We still kept fighting to get the ball back but couldn't really do anything with it."
It's an unfortunate, familiar setup for Abercrombie Gold who finished last year's season in the top flight with a single win and two draws.