Pierce Waring's second-half strike was not enough to prevent Melbourne Victory from suffering a 2-1 PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria loss to Green Gully at Green Gully Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
Wyatt Chant featured in goal for Victory, while Samet Salis, Anthony Duzel, Ryan Lambert and Chris Theoharous each earned starts.
Both teams wrestled for the ascendancy in the opening quarter of an hour, with neither able to settle and conjure anything of note.
That changed in the 27th minute when Liam Boland made the most of a free-kick from 30 yards, lashing the ball into the top corner.
Victory tried to return the favour minutes later when Dion Paola turned a James Xydias cross just shy of the upright.
But it was Gully which doubled its advantage three minutes into the second stanza, courtesy of an inch-perfect shot from Daniel Jones.
Xydias thought he had done enough to peg a goal back after pickpocketing his man, but he failed to squeeze his effort inside the post.
Waring had no such problem in the 82nd minute, guiding Lucas Derrick's cross past the goalkeeper to set up a grandstand finish.
But an equaliser failed to eventuate, leaving Victory to reflect on an encouraging showing.
Victory heads back to Epping Stadium to host Heidelberg United in its final PS4 NPL Victoria match of 2016 on Sunday, August 21.
Earlier, Victory's under-20 team conceded in the 71st minute to go down 1-0 to Green Gully.
Green Gully 2 (Boland 27', Jones 48')
Melbourne Victory 1 (Waring 82')
Green Gully 1 (Or 71')
Melbourne Victory 0