THEY created chances, they showed improved transition and they defended sternly, but the Western NSW Mariners still walked off Proctor Park on Saturday night with nothing to show for their efforts.
In what coach Mark Rooke described as the 'the most gut-wrenching' loss for his men thus far in 2019, the Mariners went down 1-0 to National Premier Leagues 3 rivals Camden.
Rooke felt his men had done enough work to earn at least a draw, but a 68th minute goal to Camden's Mitchell Brooker handed the visitors the honours.
"They had a bit of brilliance in the second half from one guy. He just rolled one of our defenders inside and took an early shot. It just happened to lob the keeper and go in," he said.
"Last kick of the match we had a handball inside the box, but the referee said he didn't see it. That's our luck at the moment, you buy your own luck and we are certainly not getting it at the moment."
The Mariners lost Josh Ward 25 minutes into Saturday night's match with a hamstring injury - a reoccurring problem which has plagued him throughout the season.
Though missing the stability that Ward brings to the line up, the Mariners adjusted and still created chances from set pieces, but for the third time this season, they were unable to find the back of the net.
"It was ... the most gut-wrenching [loss] considering we'd played well."
The Mariners, who have won only two matches to date, will now turn their attention to a clash against the 11th placed team, Hawkesbury City FC at David Bertenshaw Field at 5.30pm this Saturday, as they try to climb their way off the bottom of the ladder.