WESTERN NSW Mariners were on the verge of finding victory against one of National Premier Leagues 3 front runners Stanmore Hawks on Saturday before disaster struck.
Mariners had taken the game to 1-all in the 80th minute - on Hawks' home field, no less - courtesy of some of their best football of the season.
Then in the 83rd minute Hawks found a goal.
Then another in the 86th. Another in the 88th. One more in the 93rd. Another for good measure in the 95th.
It was an unfathomable ending to what had been a stirring performance from the visiting Mariners up until the Hawks' second goal of the night.
"I was a game you had to watch to believe what had gone on," Mariners coach Mark Rooke said.
"The boys had played brilliantly. The things we'd been working on in recent times were starting to come out and we even had chances to take the lead in the match.
"I was speechless after the game. It was disappointing for the boys because they had put in the effort and they saw rewards coming their way.
"We just didn't manage the game well enough over the last 10 minutes. We didn't keep to the processes and systems that we put in place and were panicking."
Ryan Campbell found a well-earned equaliser for the Mariners in the second half before the nightmare ending unfolded.
Hawks' Sam Awad and Peter Yannopoulos each finished with hat-tricks, the latter bombing home two long range injury time efforts to seal the deal.
Mariners now have to turn things around quickly over a busy schedule.
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They play host to Granville Rage at Proctor Park this Saturday afternoon before facing Bankstown United on Monday in Orange.
"Training's been good this week and they're looking keen to get back on and build on the good things to come out of the weekend," Rooke said.
"Granville have been travelling alright. They're a team who haven't scored too many goals but haven't conceded too many either. I think they're a side that we match up well against and we can earn some points there.
"Bankstown are a team who have come up from the division below. We've watched some footage of them. We prepared the other week for those guys so hopefully we can implement what we learned on Monday."
Mariners are also preparing themselves for their upcoming FFA Cup fixture against Hakoah Sydney City East, expected to be played within the next three weeks.
The Western men will go into the match as big underdogs against the Premier Leagues 1 outfit but they have fond memories of their previous FFA Cup clash against the Sydney side.
Mariners won the round three contest in 2015 in a penalty shoot out at Proctor Park.
The upcoming game has the potential to be a family affair with Rooke's son, Ryan, a member of the under 20s Hakoah side.
Saturday's National Premier Leagues 3 match against Granville kicks off 3pm at Proctor Park.