Murray United has snatched a draw against competition leaders Dandenong City.
In one of the games of the season, the Border outfit showed it can match it with the best in the league in what finished as a highly-entertaining 2-2 draw.
Archie Thompson netted his second goal of the season for United with a piece of individual brilliance to put the leaders up 1-0 late in the first half.
Dandenong City found the equaliser on the stroke of half-time and looked threatening when they took a 2-1 lead after 75 minutes.
However, veteran striker Chad Bugeja found the instant response with a fortuitous goal a minute later to level the game at 2-2.
United coach James Coutts said he would have taken a draw before the game, but admitted there was plenty of chances from both sides.
The way he (Thompson) changes direction very quickly and turns inside and outside is incredible.James Coutts
“I felt at 1-1 in particular, we were on top and could have gone on to win the game, but it just wasn’t to be,” Coutts said.
“It took us a bit of time to get into the game, but once we did, we were really on top and looked good.
“We conceded the first goal just before half-time and the second one against the run of play, but I was delighted again with the character shown by the boys.
“We go away happy with a point and we move onto next week.”
Coutts said Thompson’s goal was a quality finish.
“The way he (Thompson) changes direction very quickly and turns inside and outside is incredible,” he said.
“To have that composure and that finish is why he became very good for so long.
“Hopefully he can score many more like that.”
Thompson should have plenty more chances to do just that, with the star signing committing to playing out the rest of the season with United.
“We’re delighted with Archie coming in, initially it was just for a few games, but I think from the first session, he has felt very comfortable,” Coutts said.
“He’s very much at home here with his family and people around him he knows and trusts.
“He has been a massive part of how we’re going this year and hopefully it continues, but he’ll be around for many more games for us and we look forward to having him on the park.”
However, Coutts felt it was again an even spread of contributors.
“We’re happy with where we are,” he said.
“There’s still stuff to work on with that end product in the final third, but the boys have come a long way.”
United is away again next Saturday against Bendigo City, who sit bottom in the western league.
The ladder after round 10 is: Dandenong City 20, Melbourne City 17, Dandenong Thunder 17, Goulburn Valley Suns 13, Murray United 13, Springvale White Eagles 12, Easter Lions 11, Nunawading City 9, Richmond 9, Box Hill United 5.