Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for Bonnyrigg in 2018.
It's why White Eagles defender Sam Gallaway feels it's high time the club are due some good fortune in Wednesday night's FFA Cup Round of 16 clash against Western Sydney Wanderers.
And what better way to banish a nightmare season than by claiming the scalp of your former employers?
Bonnyrigg's 'write off' season from hell
Relegation from the NPL NSW has rattled Bonnyrigg, a giant of New South Wales' premier competition. No other club has won more league Championships (four) this decade, while the White Eagles have also unearthed such names as Danny Vukovic and Alen Stajcic in the past.
The White Eagles lost long-serving head coach Brian Brown and suffered a series of freak results on their way down, the nadir being their 6-3 defeat to APIA Leichhardt Tigers in the penultimate weekend of the campaign.
Bonnyrigg led the league heavyweights 3-0 after half an hour played, but would eventually lose 6-3 and have three players sent off.
“We were all looking at each other like, what’s going on?” Gallaway recalls. The former Newcastle Jet was one of the three Bonnyrigg players to see red on that fateful Lambert Park afternoon.
“The frustrating part of this season is we were playing well against the top teams on the ladder... look at APIA, we had them down 3-0 in the first 30 minutes and then it just fell to pieces.
“It’s just a write off season that when you look back at it you think, how did that happen? But unfortunately, that was the year for Bonnyrigg, and that’s the pickle that we’re in now.”
Gallaway's hunt for revenge
An upset win over Markus Babbel’s Wanderers side would be some way to soften the blow of relegation.
It would also be the ultimate personal revenge for Gallaway, who spent half the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season in Red and Black.
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He still remembers the day he was left hanging by his former employers.
“The way it ended was unfortunate. They didn’t necessarily tell me that I wasn’t good enough but they told me that they wanted to keep me, but never got back.
“You can only call someone so many times before you stop trying, it was a bit of a weird situation and there’s a little bit of bad blood there but that’s football. That’s the way it is sometimes.”
Gallaway’s thirst for vengeance will fuel what is already likely to be a hostile encounter between the two Western Sydney clubs.
Perhaps no other Round of 16 fixture on Wednesday screams old fashioned cup tie than this, and Gallaway is anticipating a heaving Marconi Stadium when Bonnyrigg and the Wanderers lock horns.
“There’s a lot of hype around this game because it’s an A-League team and a lot of the players haven’t played against an A-League team or club, so it’s very exciting for the players and everyone’s getting on board.
“It does drive me a bit more to win. There’s a bit more passion there. I want to do it for the Bonnyrigg fans just because of the season we’ve had, I just want to give them something to cheer about because it’s been such a dull season for the club.”