An own goal in the second half saved Moreland City from their first home defeat of the season after drawing 1-1 with Brunswick City at Campbell Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
Adrian Mathers’ side had come off two consecutive draws at home and continued to count their losses after star midfielder, Jesse Makarounas was ruled out for the season with an MCL injury after a tough challenge the week prior against Murray United.
Tyler James and Lisandro Paz both missed but Cristopher Cristaldo returned to the XI along with Andrew Viola after a few weeks sidelined with injury and Ratip Cileli came in to the number 10 role for Makarounas.
Moreland started off the brightest with Osman Kose breaking through the lines but his shot sailed over the bar and really failed to test Sebastian Mattei between the sticks.
City kept coming but were held well by their opponents who upped the anti with some strong tackles and tenacious defending which led to Brunswick starting to gain some momentum but were unable to penetrate Matt Reid and Daniel Jones in defence.
However, their patience was rewarded when a free-kick into the box was knocked home by an oncoming Brunswick attacker to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
Moreland struggled to get back into the game for the remainder of the half and were forced into a change when Brian Summerskill was taken off after sustaining a knock and replaced by Stelios Konstantinidis.
The second half saw the home side burst into life as Matt Reid had an early chance to tie the game with his header just going wide as he continued to be a presence especially from set-pieces.
Another change saw Viola replaced by Joshua Hanna who helped to structure the midfield as Konstatinidis dropped into full-back and played a valiant second-half stopping the influence of Jose Portillo for the visitors.
City were finally rewarded when a corner was whipped in and knocked home by a Brunswick defender to tie the game on 53 minutes and spur the home side into life and potentially a comeback.
Apai Ukuno soon after had a chance to give City the lead but his header also glanced wide as the winner was alluding Moreland just that little bit more.
Brunswick were able to respond with some chances of their own forcing a brilliant save from Kieran McDowell and once again late on with McDowell making a fantastic double save to save a point for Moreland.
Another game without a win for City as they close the gap to one point behind Dandenong City on top of the table but with the aforementioned to play St Albans Saints today.
Moreland travel to take on Nunawading City next week at Mahoney’s Reserve while Brunswick are on the road again when they face North Geelong Warriors.
Brown’s Corner Hotel Man of the Match: Kieran McDowell
A brilliant display especially late on with some fantastic saves in the final moments kept Moreland in the game and especially in maintaining a point for the boys. Marshalled everything from the back and couldn’t do too much about Brunswick’s opener but made up for it with a brilliant second-half.