A GOAL in the dying minutes salvaged a point for Albury United in a thrilling derby against Albury City.
But the 2-2 result was a performance that will no doubt be disappointing for a side that would have expected more.
“The boys took it as a loss,” United coach Adam Carty said.
“We put ourselves under pressure to play high quality football and we didn’t see that from us.
“You can’t bank on anything in football, we would have liked to have seen a better performance and a better result, but we’ll take 2-2.”
Carty said on a different day the result could have been different.
There was a disallowed goal for offside and United peppered City’s goal as they pressed hard in the second half.
“It would have been entertaining to watch,” Carty said.
“We got better as the game went on but City came out of the blocks hard, there was 20 minutes when we switched off and they made us pay.
“But I was very impressed with the boys’ will to not give up.
“With 20 minutes to go they could have rolled over but they fought to the very end and showed a lot of heart and a lot of ticker.”
For a burgeoning City side though it was a different story.
After two losses, the draw against a more experienced side was cause for celebration.
Particularly as coach Simon Randall was forced to use all his substitutions in the opening half through injuries, including to captain and scorer of both goals Michael Pertzel.
“We were playing on raw determination and enthusiasm more than anything else,” he said.
“Pertzel is the heart and soul of the side in terms of his determination and he drives the younger players.”
With only two players left in the side over 18, it was a desperate effort to hold on — one which Randall enjoyed, particularly goalkeeper Campbell Taylor’s efforts.
“They didn’t let them settle on ball, they tracked their man and did the team thing,” Randall said.
“It was an all-round great team effort against a quality opposition — both sides stepped up to the mark and it was a good contest.
“We’ve got a lot of young kids at the club who seem to be flourishing, all wanting to play first grade.
“And they all took responsibility when we were down — as a coach you love nothing more than 11 players putting everything on the line for each other.”