A Josh Romein goal in the 92nd minute salvaged a much-deserved point for Ballarat City against Box Hill United in Saturday’s National Premier League two cross conference clash.
Box Hill sits two points off relegation in the eastern conference and were desperate for victory, but Ballarat denied it with a goal at the death.
Box Hill scored half an hour into the match and held a 1-0 lead into half-time. City equalised 20 minutes into the second half through Dom Swinton before Box Hill again skipped clear with five minutes remaining.
Nelson Salvatore floated a ball in from a free kick which Josh Romein took full advantage of to find the back of the net with a clutch header from the far post.
Coach Danny Gnjidic felt his group did not deserve to go away empty handed and the 2-2 result was well-deserved.
“I was rapt that the boys didn’t lose, because they didn’t deserve to lose...I’m glad we got something to show for our efforts in the end,” Gnjidic said.
“It would’ve been pretty tough to take if we had of got rolled after playing quite well.”
The top four teams remain well clear of the rest in the western conference, Ballarat sits in fifth position. While it has enjoyed a reasonable season, with its ups and downs over the course of the 26 rounds. With two matches remaining and City sitting mid-table, neither fighting for promotion or seeing off relegation, it could be forgiven for not having the same intensity as it did earlier in the season – but that has not been the case.
“They’ve really taken the game on week after week, against some of the stronger sides we’ve been found wanting in certain areas, but they’ve never shied away from challenges. Quite often at this time of year when you’re in that mid-table position people can go through the motions, but this group is not like that at all, I think that’s putting them in good stead for future.
“If we can do what we did yesterday in the last two games I think we’ll finish the season off on a really positive note.”
City will face Melbourne Victory and Werribee City in the final two matches of the season.