THE DREAM remains alive for the Ballarat Red Devils, with the club still a chance to escape the relegation zone following Saturday’s catch-up round draw to Bentleigh Greens.
A moment of Shaun Romein brilliance in the 36th minute was enough to secure a point for the Red Devils in the 1-1 result at the Kingston Heath Soccer Complex.
Bentleigh scored the opener just two minutes before Romein struck a contender for goal of the season.
The home side troubled the Reds in the opening stages, with flankers Ryan De Vries and Jamie De Abreu exposing the opposition back line with sheer pace.
Red Devils keeper Aaron Romein was forced to make a number of saves early on, the most important of which came at the 25-minute mark, when he was forced to tip a dangerous cross to safety.
The Greens scored the opener less than 10 minutes later through captain Wayne Wallace.
The Englishman got on the end of a De Vries pass and slotted the pill past Romein to send panic through the Red Devils camp.
However, the underdogs responded in style, with Romein stunning everyone with a long-range volley just seconds after the restart.
Bentleigh’s Christian Cavallo cleared the line from a corner that generated a Paul Harvey header, before Romein caught the ball flush from outside the box and sent it into the top left corner, skimming the crossbar on its way.
The two sides entered the break locked at 1-1, with neither was able to break the deadlock in the closing stages.
Keeper Romein again showed his worth in the second-half, saving several almost certain Bentleigh goals.
Red Devils player manager James Robinson was pleased to secure a point in the vital clash.
“A point away at Bentleigh Greens, any team would take that,” Robinson said on the National Premier Leagues Victoria website.
“Both teams showed a lot of fight, we dug in deep and we’ve come away with a point that could prove to be pivotal.”
The draw leaves the Red Devils five points shy of Werribee City, Dandenong Thunder and Port Melbourne Sharks in 13th place.
Ballarat’s do-or-die end of season continues with a match against Melbourne Knights at Morshead Park this Saturday.