Hawke's Bay United have registered another stalemate but player-co-coach Bill Robertson said it had to be put in perspective with their variables.
"On reflection it's probably a good point away from home for us again," said Robertson after the Thirsty Whale-sponsored side drew 2-all against Southern United in the national summer league game at Logan Park, Dunedin, yesterday. "You know, it's not easy to go down there to put on a decent performance so, overall, we're reasonably pleased with how we've performed."
The centre back said it was a good end-to-end affair where both teams had tried to eke out a victory but Bay United were disappointed to concede another equaliser late in the match while in a winning position.
"But we're now five games unbeaten which is a good achievement at this level but, having said that, our last three have been draws and doesn't quite reflect on the table for us," he said.
Bay United were sitting second on the premiership before the four games had kicked off today. Some bedding-in time was required with a predominantly new squad, new coaches, the injection of homegrown talent for a franchise club undergoing a major transition, he said.
People would have thought it a stretch to find Bay United among the top four at the start of the 2019-20 campaign but Robertson felt they would have been higher on the table had they converted draws into wins.
The flooding in the lower South Island had cut off cellphone reception from below Ashburton at the weekend, adding to Bay United dramas but he said they had got by on communication and relieved to catch their flights back to Napier, via Auckland, today as thunder and lightning took hold of Wellington overnight.
Bay United went up 1-0 in just the second minute when Ihaia Delaney tapped the ball into net after exploiting the space on the left flank where Ahinga Selemani's cross yielded dividends, according to Southern United's Twitter feed.
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The intensity was high as Robertson picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Garbhan Coughlan in the 27th minute, just before tempers frayed, prompting referee Anna-Marie Keighley to remind the instigators they were there to play.
The Conor O'Keeffe-captained hosts' equaliser came after halftime when Danny Ledwith profited from a cross but Bay United goalkeeper Ruben Parker Hanks missed it after Coughlan caused some mayhem in the penalty box in the 49th minute.
Keighley didn't acknowledge vociferous appeals for a penalty after defender Kaeden Atkins succumbed to gravity in an aerial challenge in the 52nd minute.
Selemani nudged the visitors ahead 2-1, although Southern United defender Stephen Last had tried in vain to clear the ball from the line, in the 56th minute.
Habitually Bay United conceded the second equaliser to Cody Brook from a corner in the 86th minute.
It was a nail-biting time for Bay United as Coughlan went down in the box following a cornerkick in the 90th minute. It was no cigar for the hosts but Bay player Dylan Sacramento collected a yellow card for a tug on Ledwith.
Bay United will play Waitakere United at Park Island, Napier, in a 2pm kick off on Sunday next week.