A single moment of inattention, and some quick-thinking from Metro, saw South East allow a first precious Southern Championship point to slip through their fingers at Pembroke Park on Saturday.
Building on distinct signs of recent improvement, the home side had created most of the game's clearcut chances before Metro were awarded a contentious free kick for handball 25 metres from goal, midway through the second half.
As South East players busied themselves organising their defensive wall, Metro saw the opportunity to take it quickly and the cheeky effort took the hosts completely by surprise. It turned out to be the game's defining moment.
United's rampant teenage forward line continued to carve out plenty of opportunities afterwards, but they just weren't able to find the finish to give them the point they so richly deserved.
Having been demolished by eight goals in the reverse fixture on the opening day of the season, this performance reflected how far this young team has come in recent times. Metro dominated possession for much of the game but the hosts' backline were able to hold them at bay, impressively led by the veteran pair of Troy Mason - on the occasion of his 100th game for the club - and Andy Rhodes, while the lively young attack caused constant problems on the break.
The introduction to life at the elite level of the regional game has been undeniably difficult, but there are now signs that Glen Roland's team are beginning to genuinely believe they belong and, if this kind of improvement is maintained, then it will only be a matter of time before it is reflected with points.
In the reserve match, Metro took advantage of a slack opening from the hosts to set the stage for a seven-goal win.
Earlier in the day, the Under 15s were unusually subdued in a 3-3 draw at Beachside, although they remain on top of the ladder, while the Under 13s continued their imperious form with a comfortable win against Clarence.
On Sunday, the SEU Ladies line up against Hobart United at Pembroke Park. Players and supporters need to be aware that Sorell Council has closed the access road due to the Truck Show, so they will be diverted to the caravan park.