Melbourne Knights have battled to a 1-1 draw against ladder leaders Bentleigh Greens at Kingston Heath on Wednesday night.
The home side took the lead in the 51st minute when Jack Webster bundled the ball in from close range after some twists, turns and a pass from fellow defender Steven Topalovic.
The Knights didn’t give up though and responded with the equaliser 15 minutes later through Stipo Andrijasevic.
The attacker shimmied near the edge of the area and struck a low shot with his left foot that squeezed into the net past a blind-sighted Alistair Bray, who fumbled the effort.
Andrew Marth’s men very nearly went home empty-handed when Bentleigh were awarded a penalty in the 91st minute, as substitute Liam McCormick was judged to have been fouled in the box.
McCormick stepped up to take the spot kick, but Chris May guessed the right way and pulled off a brilliant save to ensure his side a well deserved point.
The Knights nearly went behind as early as the second minute as Ryan De Vries pounced on a loose ball before seeing his curling shot deflected for a corner.
The next 20 minutes were tight and tense, with neither side being able to create a real opportunity until Jamie De Abreu’s shot on target need Tomislav Uskok to divert the effort over the crossbar.
Bentleigh had a great chance to go ahead ten minutes before half time after May gifted Chris Lucas possession, but then made amends with a trademark reflex save from the speedy attacker’s strike.
The Knights’ best moment of the half came two minutes before the break after a stunning passing move set up James McGarry for the shot, but his volley was well blocked.
Bentleigh had more chances in the second half as De Abreu smacked the crossbar with a fizzing strike before May made another big save to thwart Tyson Homes.
The visitors very nearly took a 2-1 lead in the 79th minute as Robbie Zadworny’s touch from a wayward Ben Surey shot looped over Bray and onto the crossbar.
But the points were ultimately shared after May’s heroics.