In a highly entertaining, free-flowing game of football, the Wolves took the lead for the second time on the night in the 87? minute courtesy of Dave Abel, though their supporters? hopes of adding a third successive win in the space of seven days were dashed by Boardman.
Sasho Petrovski?s first-half penalty was cancelled out by Jamie McMaster midway through the second period, paving the way for the dramatic finish to the encounter in-front of an impressive turnout at John Crehan Park on Saturday evening.
Mark Picciolini received a neat pass from Alex Mansueto?s cross from the right in the 3? minute though the striker, with his back to goal, had the ball swiftly taken from his feet by Michael Robinson.
The Wolves continued to find space down the left-flank via the feet of John Martinoski in the opening exchanges, though the visiting White Eagles limited South Coast with some strong defending to deny the final pass.
Bonnyrigg?s first forward foray arrived on 9? minutes as Alex Canak played Brad Boardman through on goal. The attacking midfielder?s searching ball carried a little too much pace as Brody Crane was quick off his line to thwart the danger.
Wolves? match winner in midweek against Parramatta FC, Petrovski, sprung into action in the 10? minute with a fierce drive off his left-peg. Petrovski?s effort was well-parried by Andrew Bazi in the Bonnyrigg goal.
Bonnyrigg went close to opening the score via a set-piece in the 11? minute. Jared Lum?s exceptional free-kick delivery from the right picked out Ben Spruce at the back post – the White Eagles? left-sided wingback only just sent his header wide of the target.
In the 18? minute, the Wolves went close to finding the first goal of the match, again via a set-piece. John Martinoski?s corner from the right picked out the head of Mansueto, though the defender?s powerful header finished over the crossbar.
Bonnyrigg?s reply was swift as another chance came about following a Jared Lum free-kick delivery. Amidst a sea of legs inside the penalty-area, Brad Boardman first, then Spruce, had half-chances thwarted as Crane picked up the loose ball.
A fine midfield battle ensued with both sides creating some very neat counterattacking play ? denied at both ends by some expert defending.
The Wolves were left to fend with ten-men for 5? minutes as Mansueto was forced from the field to change his shirt due to some blood from a facial injury. Bonnyrigg ?upped the ante?, though could only manage to carve out another headed attempt to Spruce from a Lum delivery, which failed to reap any reward.
On the half hour, Wolves? goalkeeper Brody Crane was forced into a last ditch save to thwart Boardman at the striker?s feet after spilling a cross from the left. Crane?s reaction was tremendous, though the shot-stopper collected a knock which forced some running repairs from the South Coast trainer.
The home side carved out an opening in the 34? minute via the feet of Petrovski. The former A-League striker showed class and finesse as he beat two markers with a fine shimmy. Unfortunately for the Wolves, Petrovski was brought to ground following a very neat David Vrankovic tackle, kick-starting a Bonnyrigg counterattack that ended with Shane Webb blasting his long-range effort over the crossbar.
Picciolini had the Wolves supporters on their feet with a fine shot on the turn in the 39? minute. With his back to goal, Picciolini turned and drove a powerful attempt on goal, denied by an expert save by Bazi down to his left.
In the 40? minute, the home side was awarded a penalty for a clear foul on Picciolini. The South Coast striker was a constant menace in the attacking third, and his quick movement inside the penalty-area was too much for the White Eagles defenders.
Petrovski took upon his shoulders the responsibility from the penalty-spot and the Wolves number 10 made no mistake in coolly converting to hand his side the lead.
Following the break, Bonnyrigg created the first chance of the half via another Lum free-kick delivery. The Wolves defenders kept their cool to clear their lines and deny Boardman a look-in as the burly striker lined up a header.
At the other end, Picciolini should have doubled his side?s lead following a Wolves counterattack. Picciolini sent Martinoski clear down the right-flank before the midfielder played a pin-point cross back to the striker. With only the goalkeeper ahead of him, Picciolini dragged his header across the face of goal ? failing to force Bazi into a save.
With the rain arriving on the hour mark, the Wolves were forced to retreat and defend against a White Eagles outfit that featured Blake Powell after coach Brian Brown added some further attacking flair to his side.
Canak was denied a certain goal when he floated in at the back post before seeing his volleyed effort cleared off the goal line by Mansueto.
Despite Bonnyrigg?s best efforts to get back into the match it was South Coast Wolves went close to doubling their lead in the 63? minute.
Martinoski?s free-kick from the left took a heavy touch off Canak and struck his goalkeeper?s up-right before Bonnyrigg cleared the ball away to safety.
Bonnyrigg found their equaliser in the 64? minute via McMaster. Substitute Blake Powell played a neat header back across goal into the path of McMaster who had no trouble converting from close-range past a helpless Brody Crane.
The Wolves went close to regaining their lead on 70? minutes as Andres Gomez?s set-piece delivery took a wicked deflection off a Bonnyrigg defender before finishing inches wide of Bazi?s left-hand post.
In the 74? minute, Spruce forced Crane into a reflex save from point-blank range. With the White Eagles out on the attack, Spruce fired a ferocious shot on the turn only to be denied by the shot-stopper.
1? minute later and Crane was almost left red-faced as he cleared left his goal line to chase down a through ball on the left. McMaster got there first and rounded Crane, though the South Coast shot-stopper did well to get back into position and deny McMaster a shot on goal.
South Coast went agonisingly close to a goal as Petrovski fired a curling free-kick against the post. Petrovski?s effort carried some real power, though failed to curl enough, much to the relief of a beat Andrew Bazi in the Bonnyrigg goal.
Despite the heavy legs following in this their third match in seven days, South Coast continued to press for a winner as Picciolini was denied a goal by some scrambling defence from the visitors who through bodies behind the ball to keep the score level.
On 82? minutes, Mansueto?s delivery from the right byline was cleared at the last moment by a Bonnyrigg defender as Gomez closed in at the back post.
Bonnyrigg substitute Nathan Elasi almost became an instant hero in the 86? minute as he picked up a loose ball on the edge of the penalty-area before driving his attempt inches wide of goal.
3? minutes from time and the Wolves went ahead for the second time on the night. Jacob Timpano picked up a loose ball at the back post following a Wolves corner, playing it back across goal into the path of Dave Abel who hit his first-time shot low and hard into the back of the net.
Abel nearly doubled his personal tally with a fabulous long-range effort. The defender?s shot had Bazi beaten, though not the crossbar, as the ball came back into play.
Bonnyrigg were not to be denied in injury-time as Boardman converted from close-range, cleverly latching onto Elasi?s cutback effort to secure the side a point on the South Coast.
Wolves coach Trevor Morgan was disappointed that his side conceded a goal so late in the match:
?We?ve had a busy week, and I guess if you had told me I would take seven points from nine on offer with the three matches this week, I would definitely have signed for it.
?In saying that, leading 2-1 in injury-time against Bonnyrigg and to concede a goal so late on is just frustrating as nine points from the three matches would have been great.
?I am proud with the efforts of the boys, I thought we put ourselves in a position to win the match ? at 1-0 the header to double the lead, Sash?s post and then the crossbar at 2-1.
?We just needed to take our chances, and we could have wrapped the match up, though we have built a lot of confidence in the group. We?ll aim to keep working hard and to move as far up the table as possible over the final four matches.
?If we continue to play as we have over this past week, I am confident that we will be adding points to our tally, and we will be putting ourselves into positive positions to win matches,? Morgan concluded.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles coach Brian Brown was equally proud of his players for their never say die attitude to score late on for a share of the spoils:
?We knew coming here was going to be tough, they are a good side and I am happy with the point.
?We did create enough chances, though so did they, so in the end I can?t argue with the draw.
?Again tonight, I can?t fault the players for their desire and efforts, we need only to avoid some mistakes in defence and look to take our chances up front.
?In saying that, we haven?t leaked many goals in the second part of the season so defensively we have been sound, though we still need to improve,? ended Brown.
In the Grade-20 division, Bonnyrigg White Eagles scored its first win of the season defeating South Coast Wolves 2-1.
South Coast Wolves 2 (Sasho Petrovski (pen) 41?, Dave Abel 87?)
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 2 (Jamie McMaster 64?, Brad Boardman 90?+2?)
Saturday 6th August, 2011
John Crehan Park, Cringila
Referee: Alex Glasgow
Assistant Referees: Michael Robertson and Nathan Wolton
Fourth Official: Scott Edeling
South Coast Wolves: 1.Brody Crane (C); 2.Alex Mansueto, 3.Dave Abel, 4.Jacob Timpano, 5.Nick Littler, 22.Zac Freeburn, 13.Stjepan Paric, 8.Andres Gomez, 9.Mark Picciolini, 10.Sasho Petrovski, 19.John Martinoski (18.Sean Robertson 69?)
Substitutes Not Used: 6.Jake Duczynski, 14.Cam Littler, 12.Jack Keating, 20.Sam Nastic
Yellow Cards: Brody Crane 75?
Red Cards: Nil
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1.Andrew Bazi; 12.Takuya Murayama, 17.Michael Robinson, 16.David Vrankovic, 6.Ben Spruce, 22.Jared Lum, 8.Alex Canak, 10.Brendan Gan (7.Nathan Elasi 83?), 11. Shane Webb (14.Blake Powell 55?), 9.Brad Boardman, 19.Jamie McMaster (C)
Substitutes Not Used: 2.Nikola Stanojevic, 3.Nikola Zonjic, 20.Thomas Hamilton
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
-By Joseph Carlucci