RMIT show character to snatch late equaliser
RMIT ground out a valuable point against Craigeburn City FC at Poplar Oval on Saturday. Badawy’s side remain top of the league but Greenvale United SC has closed the gap to 3 points as a result of their win over Meadow Park.
The visitors started well, with their midfield allowing no space for RMIT to enjoy possession forcing the Redbacks into an unfamiliar long ball game. Neither side could fashion any clear cut chances until the 21st minute when a set piece was delivered to the far post by the Craigeburn number 10. The RMIT defence was beaten and the ball found its way to the back of the net courtesy of a well placed header. 1-0 for the visitors.
The remainder of the half was played out in the midfield with neither team looking likely to score.
RMIT came out in the second half determined not to succumb to their first loss of the season. Some high pressing defensive work by the team ensured that Craigeburn’s chances were only limited to set pieces.
The change of style proved fruitful in the 78th minute when a tiring Craigeburn defender was stripped off the ball in his own half by Nick Barwell. Barwell drove to the line and delivered an inch perfect pass across the box for Brelsford to tap in and make it all level.
The match was set up for an exhilarating finish with both teams not satisfied with the draw. RMIT dominated the final 10 minutes and looked more likely to scrape a late winner. However, a combination of tired finishing and good goal keeping meant that RMIT’s winning run had come to an end after 8 matches. Remaining undefeated is a pleasant consolation with the last league defeat all the way back in September 2015.
Man of the match on the afternoon was Joe Cowen, who racked up an impressive number of interceptions and key clearances throughout the 90 mins.
RMIT also said goodbye to Stefan Pachernegg as he played his last game for the Redbacks. Stefan joined RMIT in July 2015 and has contributed 2 goals and 4 assists in his 18 starts for the club. He fast developed into a club favourite and everyone at RMIT wishes him the best for the future.
Zwawy (off 65)
M. Jones (off 55)
Brelsford 1 goal
Castano (on 65)
O’Reilly (on 55)