The Maitland Magpies have ended their 2017 NPL campaign with a lacklustre 2-1 home defeat to Adamstown Rosebud on Sunday afternoon to finish in sixth position and outside the finals places.
A second half double from Chris Berlin was enough for all three points, while Zac Hill netted a consolation goal for the home side.
In a quiet first half, it was Adamstown who carved out the better chances, with Matt Trott being called upon to make a pair of sharp saves to deny Mitchell Hunter and Ryan Ensor, while Judd Duncan’s effort went just over the bar from long range.
The game eventually came to life in the second half, when Berlin opened the scoring in the 51st minute. Hunter’s cross into the box was met by the Rosebud number nine, who slid in to find the bottom corner.
Berlin doubled the advantage just 11 minutes later when he got on the end of another Hunter cross to find the same corner of the net and leave the Magpies with a mountain to climb.
Hill gave Maitland a lifeline with 20 minutes remaining when he volleyed home a cross from Josh Dutton-Black.
As the Magpies pressed hard for an equaliser, Berlin found space in behind on the counterattack, to go one-on-one with Trott, but the Magpies gloveman denied Berlin a hat-trick and kept his side in the game.
The closest Maitland got to a levelling goal was a Ryan Clarke long range strike that hit the crossbar in the 86th minute, but Adamstown hung on to end their season on a high.
The match also marked the final game in charge for head coach Phil Dando, who steps aside for Michael Bolch, the current Hamilton Olympic head coach, who will take the reins at Cooks Square Park for the 2018 season.