WAGGA City Wanderers will fall just short of making finals in their maiden National Premier League ACT Two campaign after going down 2-0 at Queanbeyan on Sunday.
The Wanderers needed to win and hope results go their way in next week's final round when they have the bye, but couldn't capitalise on their chances.
Queanbeyan keeper Jack Miller delivered a sterling display to frustrate the Wanderers out of the contest, who handed youngsters Watban Ibrahim and Lachie Cooke their first grade debuts after late withdrawals.
The hosts scored goals after about half an hour, and with around 15 minutes remaining on the break as the Wanderers went for broke.
However the under-20s booked their spot in the finals with a 7-0 belting earlier in the day.
"It was frustrating. We started with eight fresh players and to push them all the way into the last ten minutes was good," Wanderers coach Ross Morgan said.
"We probably had the better chances, but their goalkeeper was phenomenal. Jake Ploenges did all he could to score but he (Miller) was on point."
Morgan said he was relatively satisfied with the club's first year in the competition, but some off-field issues and a barren mid-season run cost them.
"To finish on 22 points is a positive but also it's what could have been," Morgan said.
"Had we fixed up some of the issues earlier in the season and picked up more points away, we could have got fourth spot.
"We've matched it with these teams, hopefully next season we know what we're going into. With a couple more players to come in and some twenties stepping up, there's a good chance we can push on from there."
The women's side suffered a 5-0 home loss to Woden-Weston.