HAWKESBURY City Football Club was taken down by the Rydalmere Lions at Bensons Lane at the weekend.
The ladder leading Lions, bolstered by former Socceroo Ahmad Elrich, won 3-1 on Saturday night in front of a bumper crowd.
It was a match made all the more difficult with City reduced to 10 men, after Prasheel Sharma was given his marching orders in the 60th minute.
Hawkesbury coach Dean Bertenshaw said any chance of a comeback was crushed after Sharma went off, and the Lions scored from the free kick.
Kosta Zarafetas scored the only goal for City during the match.
City is in seventh place on the Football NSW NPL 3 ladder now, one spot out of the top six finals, after the round 23 match concluded.
In round 24, City will take on the Granville Rage at Garside Park on Thursday.