The Maitland Magpies were left to lament defensive lapses which saw them blow a two-goal lead in their 4-2 loss to Edgeworth Eagles at Cooks Square Park on Saturday.
The Magpies were firmly on top leading 2-0 going into extra-time in the first half after a penalty goal to Sean Pratt in the 12th minute and a goal to Matt Swan in the 19th.
However, unmarked headers to Edgeworth's Josh Rose either side of half-time levelled the scores.
Jeremy Brockie gave Edgeworth the lead in the 64th minute and Rose put the beyond Maitland's reach with the third goal of his hat-trick in the 86th minute.
"We are letting through too many soft goals. They scored two unmarked headers to Josh Rose eight yards out from goal," Magpies coach Mick Bolch said.
"We need to be a lot better defensively, that's nine goals we've conceded in our last three games (including a 3-2 loss to Newcastle Olympic in the FFA Cup)."
Despite the loss the Magpies remain third on the ladder with 19 points from six wins and a draw. They are one point ahead of Edgeworth in fourth, with Lambton top of the table on Broadmeadow second.
There is a competition break for the Queen's Birthday long weekend before the Magpies take on Lake Macquarie City on Friday, June 18. Kick off is at 8pm.
Magpies women jump to fourth
The Maitland Magpies have jumped to fourth on the Herald Women's Premier League table with a 2-1 win against Adamstown Rosebud at the Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Saturday night.
It was Maitland's fifth win of the season and fourth in the past five games. Their only loss in that time was to competition leaders Broadmeadow Magic.
The Magpies host third-placed Warners Bay this Saturday at Cooks Square Park. Kick off is at 3.40pm.