THE task was simple for Blacktown City FC — beat Manly United at Lily Homes Stadium last Sunday and they'd be in the Men's No.1 soccer finals. Well, they didn't lose.
They drew 0-0 and finished a point behind Marconi, but a point was as big as a mile.
It didn't seem comprehensible; the team that had beaten the best, been competitive against all the best, was acknowledged as one of the five best, won't be one of the five contesting the finals.
The team that had spent a good part of the season in the top four.
They now have the summer to think about the inconsistency that cost them.
There were several chances to seal it on Sunday.
Harris Gaitatzis took control of possession in the second half and Travis Major, Sean Rooney and Ryuji Miyazawa almost got the cigar. Almost.
Marconi leapfrogged Blacktown City into the top five after a late goal from Shane Webb sealed a 1-0 win over Bonnyrigg.
Blacktown City coach Mark Crittenden conceded not being clinical in the final third was their downfall.
"We knew the situation before kick-off, it was in our hands," he said.
"I think a few of the other top teams will be relieved we are out of contention, we played some very good football at times this year.
"The lads are shattered, we will just have to move on."