ALBURY United hopes the return of Cade Webb and Caleb Martin will be the catalyst to turn around the team’s recent fortunes when it takes on Melrose on Sunday.
The Greens sat out the first two rounds and started their season with a 1-0 win against fellow cup aspirant Boomers.
But a draw against Albury City and then second-half fade-out in the loss to Myrtleford has taken the gloss off that promise.
Even 400-gamer Webb was at a loss to explain the game against the Savoys where United went into half-time up 2-0 only to give up four goals in the second stanza.
“We came out just after half-time and we were still knocking the ball around and then something changed — I don’t know whether it was us or it was Myrtleford,” Webb said.
“We just went away from everything we have been working on for six months.
“In the end, the basics let us down.
“We couldn’t hit a target and the pressure just mounted from there.”
Martin returns from a suspension incurred in the first round of the cup play-offs last year.
Melrose playmaker Sean Pye said the team would be at full strength for the first leg of the Hans La-Ramee Cup.
Melrose has missed three weeks of football between byes and Easter.
“Several players were involved in the state of origin and have had some match practice — Adam Waters and Jessie Marcuzzi were stand-outs in the Good Friday day,” Pye said.
“We’ll be at full strength and I’m back after shaking off a hamstring injury from a couple of weeks ago.”
Webb down-played recent results.
“It is pretty competitive with most sides, apart from Twin City with their recruits,” he said.
“There is little between any of the top teams.
“You only need someone to have a special game and you are on the wrong side of the scoresheet.”
Sunday’s game has been transferred from the usual Anzac Day clash between the clubs.