New Lambton coach Brad Jones has questioned the need for 12 minutes of injury time after the defending champions conceded a "heart-breaking" 97th minute goal in a 2-1 loss to Warners Bay at Arthur Edden Oval on Saturday.
The match was the only one to go ahead in Herald Women's Premier League round five with all games on Sunday washed out.
American signing Jen Hoy gave Warners Bay an early lead then Emmeline Pepper found an equaliser in the 50th minute.
Annika D'Amico produced the injury time winner to propel Warners Bay to nine points and onto equal footing with league leaders Newcastle Olympic.
Eagles striker Soph Stapleford was down for a few minutes as injury time began and received on-field attention before being substituted with the game locked at 1-1.
"I was told it was stoppage time but I can't even seen how there was 12 minutes," Jones said. "I couldn't even tell you a game that I have watched that would have 12 minutes of stoppage time ... At the end of the day, that's football but I really do question how you determine that."
New Lambton remain winless with just one point from five outings. The Eagles had clear-cut chances on goal go begging in the second half in a game that was an arm wrestle.
"The girls played fantastic and I thought we were the better team, but at the end of the day we haven't won ... In terms of the effort, in terms of the way we played football, we were constructing constantly," Jones said.
"We had plenty of chances that needed to be finished and it wouldn't have come down to a 52nd minute goal."
The match completed a challenging week for the Panthers, who played three games in the space of seven days. They beat Thornton 3-1 in round four before a 2-1 loss to Broadmeadow Magic midweek.
Panthers coach Craig Atkins said his squad would have a well-earned rest for a couple of days before turning their focus to Merewether next round.
"It was always going to be a tight game and I could see the girls were a bit flat in the warm-up," Atkins said.
"I could see a bit of fatigue there in their legs but it was good to score early. That was a really positive start. It was a pretty even game at half-time. After the break, we didn't come out. I could see the girls getting tireder at the end, but just the character to dig in like that.
"I said to them, 'That's what wins games - character'. From losing that one late Wednesday night to now winning this one late, it's a great confidence booster for the girls. We have Merewether next week, so it's not going to get any easier."
Round 5 results:
Warners Bay 2 (Jen Hoy, Annika D'Amico) beat New Lambton 1 (Emmeline Pepper) at Arthur Edden Oval. Half-time: Warners Bay led 1-0.
Mid Coast v Merewether at Wayne Richards Oval - postponed.
Thornton v Newcastle Olympic at Thornton Park - postponed.
Adamstown v Broadmeadow at Adamstown Oval - postponed.
Newcastle Olympic 9, Warners Bay 9, Merewether 8, Adamstown 7, Broadmeadow 6, Mid Coast 6, New Lambton 1, Thornton 0.
IN OTHER NEWS:
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here