BALLARAT Red Devils have been left to rue a dubious late equaliser that forced a draw with Football Federation Victoria men’s state league two championship contenders Fawkner Blues on Saturday.
The Haymes Red Devils looked headed for victory after David King’s 28th minute goal, but had to settle for a 1-1 result when the visitors tied the scores in the 86th minute.
Many of the Ballarat players and supporters believed Fawkner’s shot had not crossed the line before it was cleared by the defence.
Ballarat playing manager Brian Shelley told The Courier he didn’t get a good view of the incident, but was surprised the central referee had ruled a goal when the linesman had not.
He said King, who made the clearance, believed the ball had not gone over the goal line.
“I was a bit bemused that he blew for the goal considering where he was standing and how many players there was between him and goal. He was never in the position to call the goal in my opinion,” Shelley said.
Shelley said this wasn’t the only decision that went against the Ballarat boys, with second half strike from Kyran Taylor drawing claims of a goal from the home side.
The shot has been captured by a photographer, and is on the Red Devils’ Facebook page, with the ball appearing as though it may have crossed the line.
Despite the disappointment, Saturday’s result takes Ballarat’s undefeated run to 10 matches and leaves it fourth on the table.
The Reds sit just four points behind a group of three teams separated by goal difference at the summit, but level on points with chasing rivals Keilor Park (fifth) and Altona East Phoenix (sixth).
“We just need to pick ourselves up and get on with next week because we are still right in with a chance in this league,” Shelley said.
Ballarat faces another crunch clash this weekend away to second-placed Brunswick City, which beat the Reds 3-2 early in the season.