A fiery clash between Dianella White Eagles and Fremantle City ended in a 3-3 draw at Dianella Reserve in round 19 of the State League Division 1.
Despite being 2-0 down in the first half, the Eagles came back through Damien Valomares and Angel Andres to secure a point.
Dianella coach Robbie Dunn said it was a gutsy performance from his side, but concedes the title may be out of their hands.
“They smashed us in the first 10 minutes or so and it was looking a bit ominous there,” he said.
“To the boys’ credit, like they have all year, they just fought back and we gave a silly goal away in the end.
“Wherever we finish, we finish. Top spot might be a bit beyond us now.”
Fremantle City found themselves with the 2-0 lead after just 25 minutes thanks to goals from Anthony Lomma and Ben West.
The home side were caught napping and Lomma punished them for it. He latched onto a through ball and slotted past the goalkeeper after just 16 minutes to put the visitors ahead.
Fremantle went further ahead 9 minutes later thanks to a header from Ben West, who connected well with a cross from Liam Fariss.
Dianella almost conceded again after some suspect defending that allowed West in on goal again, only to be denied by the woodwork.
Five minutes later, it was the home side who were unlucky not to pull one back through a free kick as Andres’ shot cannoned of the post.
The hosts didn’t have to wait long though, as Valomares managed to catch one on the half volley to pull one back.
The second half witnessed plenty of action as Dianella were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute, which Andres coolly smashed into the top corner to level the proceedings.
Four minutes later, Andres doubled his tally and put the home side ahead for the first time in the match with a bullet header from a corner.
The visitors were level again six minutes later.
Fremantle had the chance to win it in stoppage time when Rory Kiely had just the goalkeeper to beat, but could only manage to hit the side netting.
Things got heated deep in injury time and Dianella captain, Radinovic, saw a second yellow for dissent.
Fremantle coach Marc Anthony was pleased with his team’s response.
“It was a great performance,” he said.
“We hung in there and started the game really well.
“Like I said to the lads at half time, Dianella are sitting top of the league, we expected them to come back in the second half, and they did that.
“It shows great character for us to be 3-3 at their place against the team top of the league.”
Dianella White Eagles (Valomares 33min, Andres 63, 67min)
Fremantle City (Lomma 16min, West 25min, 73min)
Saturday, August 26th, 2017
Referee: B. Skime
Dianella White Eagles: 1. Joel DRISCOL, 14. Bojan RADINOVIC, 16. Emmanuel KAGPAYENG, 15. Anga LOIC, 4. Agio GARDAND, 8. Ibrahim HADAD, 6. Josam MUWOWO, 2. Sotiris THEODOSIADES, 12. Francis WANJIRU, 10. Damien VALOMARES, 9. Angel ANDRES, 17. Nas SARASALAS, 5. Yann CASTREC, 3. Ernrsi HAILE, 11. Jason STEPANOVSKI, 15. Spiro NENADIC
Yellow Cards: Muwowo, Haile
Red Cards: Radinovic
Fremantle City: 1. Tom ALLAN, 14. Jason DE GENNARO, 3. Tom SPEZIALI, 4. Anthony LOMMA, 5. Luke FINDLATER, 6. Stephen O’LEARY, 7. Liam FARISS, 8. Alec ROBINSON, 9. Ben WEST, 10. Sean BROWNE, 11. Ben REYNOLDS, 12. Ryan FRANKCOM, 13. Giuseppe STELLITANO, 2. Ameir SALMAN, 15. Rory KIELY, 71. Cian FLYNN
Yellow Cards: Kiely, Lomma, Allan, Browne, Findlater
Red Cards: Nil