After a convincing win against Colts in round one, Shepparton South was out to make a statement against Eaglehawk on Sunday.
However, the Southerners were thwarted 2-1 in a gripping game of soccer at McEwen Reserve.
With the visitor renowned for its stonewall defensive approach, South took charge early on setting up shop in the Eaglehawk half in the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League contest.
Midfield magician Kabir Larry Casey Kareem bossed the midfield with clever touches and darting movements to evade his marker, but could not seem to conjure up an end product for the Southerners.
And as Eaglehawk weathered the storm, South’s defence parted ways allowing an opposition forward to run into the box and draw a foul.
With official Peter Anderson having no choice but to point to the spot, Brent Hamblin stepped up to convert, but was denied by an exquisite diving save from Peter Nedulkovski.
However, the South keeper was deemed to have moved off his line prematurely and Hamblin gave his side the advantage at the second bite of the cherry.
A free kick zipped into the corridor of uncertainty was met by the head of Chris Hopley as Eaglehawk doubled its cushion only minutes into the second stanza.
South’s talisman striker Joel Aitken dragged his side back into the fixture when he juked around his man and curled the ball sweetly into the side netting in the 77th minute.
With all of the momentum heading South’s way, the home side threw the kitchen sink at the Eaglehawk defence, but could not find a chink in its armour.
The game reached its boiling point in the final minutes as a goal line scramble in the box led to a dubious handball from an Eaglehawk player, prompting an eruption from the stands as Anderson waved it away, but the scores stayed locked in the visitor’s favour.
●Shepparton secured its first point of the season after a thrilling draw on the road against Golden City.
The host got off to a blinder as Ehsoo Seven converted a penalty in the 13th minute, but Shepparton rebounded with a spot kick of its own Englishman Louis Ruddock converted.
Charlie Peacock nudged Golden City back into the lead moments later, as his long range effort from a set piece managed to elude Reds shot stopper Jordan Harvey.
Ramah Taya put Shepparton all square on the half-hour mark, latching on to a clever through ball and sliding it past City’s Shane Greenwood.
A corner on the stroke of half-time landed at the feet of Frank Mariner and the Samoan found the back of the net with an elegant first time strike to put Shepparton a goal up.
However, the Reds were made to pay after a missed chance resulted in City storming down the field and sealing an equaliser in the 79th minute thanks to substitute Win Boe.
Shepparton coach Reno Lia reflected on what ended up as two points dropped rather than one gained.
‘‘We were a little bit disappointed as we went there to win, we definitely rued some missed opportunities,’’ Lia said.
‘‘We should have buried it, we missed a couple of chances right on the line.
‘‘You can get burned and that is what happened to us on Sunday.’’