IT was cheers of relief and celebration for Panorama FC on Saturday afternoon as they booked their spot in the Western Premier League finals, but it was a decidedly different emotion Macquarie United coach Paul Crain felt.
While Panorama, who needed a win or a draw to lock their spot in the top four, got the job done as they won 3-1 at Proctor Park, Crain lamented a call which had a big impact on the outcome of the match.
Crain felt a 70th minute spectacular diving header on the far post from Connor Crain which found the mark only to be ruled off-side should have stood as a goal.
If it had it would have locked the game up at 2-all.
"That's very, very disappointing for us and the only reason it is disappointing is we got denied a goal which was a goal," Crain said.
"Look it is what it is, the boys played well - there's no disgrace in the way the fellas played. But to lose the way we lost, it's devastating."
Having lost 6-1 to Macquarie in Dubbo in round eight, the pressure was on Panorama to turn things around and ensure their survival.
So when Thomas Dale scored in injury time after a brilliant counter-attacking run from Jadyn Slater to seal the two-goal win, Panorama's delight was obvious.
"I was thinking 'Make sure you get it in the back of the net'. It was golden," Dale, who made it a personal tally of three goals for the season, said.
"We just gelled better and we just played a lot better football, we actually turned up to the game.
"We're in the finals, it's great. We definitely felt the pressure, but the boys stepped up for it."
While Panorama had the better of the chances in the opening quarter of the match, it was Macquarie who scored first when Glen Schein headed in a cross on the far post.
However, Panorama's response was swift in coming as shortly after the kick-off Jacob Soetens burst into the box and slotted home to make it 1-all in the 29th minute.
"It was just beautiful Soetens magic to get us back in the game I guess, I back him to score," Dale said.
It remained locked at 1-all to half-time and after the break Panorama came out hard.
Will Fitzpatrick and Beau Yates had attempts go just over the crossbar but in the 61st minute the Bathurst side took the lead as a Jules Bardon shot, which Macquarie goalkeeper looked to have covered, found the mark.
That made it 2-1 and after Connor Crain's spectacular header nine minutes later was disallowed, Panorama again came at the visitors.
Jarrah Hale's curling effort in the 76th minute went just over the crossbar and 10 minutes later he hit the left post as he fired in an attempt from just outside the box.
Macquarie had an appeal for a handball inside the box waved away in the 88th minute before Dale sealed the win for Panorama in injury time.
Though Macquarie was unable to win they still finish as minor premiers. Crain could not fault their effort and expects them to fire in the finals series.
"We've got a lot of belief in this side, sometimes the soccer gods smile on you, sometimes they don't. Today it didn't go our way, but next weekend we've got a semi-final and we'll be ready for it," the coach said.
"It was a great effort by the guys and you could see the way they dug in the last two to three minutes, that they are committed to the cause. It just didn't go our way today."