For 90 minutes the Wollongong Wolves held firm defensively.
Facing an enthusiastic Northbridge Bulls side, the hosts repelled wave after wave of attacking chances.
With the clock reaching 90, it looked like the Wolves would escape with a point.
And then Liam Wille conceded a free kick on the edge of the box.
This time the Bulls made no mistake, Moudi Najjar connecting with the cross to put his team up 1-0 in the 91st minute.
Suffering their second defeat of the season, Wollongong coach Luke Wilkshire lamented his team's lack of enthusiasm.
"I think at the end, we probably got what we deserved," Wilkshire said.
"The first half definitely wasn't good enough, we were a bit better, a bit more aggressive in the second. Silly fouls cost us in the end."
The match was the first leg of a WIN Stadium doubleheader, Wollongong playing before Wellington's A-League clash with Macarthur.
The Wolves were on the back foot for much of the first half, Northbridge controlling possession throughout the opening 45.
The Bulls generated a number of genuine scoring chances, Wollongong scrambling desperately to deny their opponents.
The first half reached a climax through the final five minutes of the period.
Leroy Jennings was denied a penalty before the referee pointed to the spot at the other end just moments later when former Wolves striker Bul Juach was dragged down in the box.
Northbridge captain Rory Jordan stepped up to take the spot kick, only to be denied by Wollongong goalkeeper Hayden Durose.
The Bulls continued to press forward however they were unable to find the back of the net before the halftime break.
While pleased with Durose's effort, Wilkshire was frustrated with the inconsistent refereeing decisions.
"There was only one (decision) wasn't there? I don't know, maybe he was making up for the penalty he missed two seconds earlier at the other end. It is what it is, you cop those.
"It's not consistent. That's what you get, especially at this level, you can't change it, you've got to deal with it."
The second half started as the first ended, Northbridge in control.
The Wolves were their own worst enemies at times, a number of defensive turnovers handing their opponents repeated scoring opportunities.
Wollongong held firm throughout the opening exchanges, before the pendulum eventually swung in the host's favour, Marcus Beattie coming close to breaking the deadlock.
The momentum didn't last, the Bulls regaining control of the contest and generating multiple attacking chances.
Again, the Wollongong defence was up to the task, Durose superb in denying the visitors.
Ultimately, however, Northbridge broke through in stoppage time to secure their first win of the season.