Box Hill United’s senior men arrested a six-game losing slump following a 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon against Langwarrin at Wembley Park.
Full-back Javier Marangos’ superb finish handed Box Hill the initiative, but Langwarrin levelled through Maximillian Etheridge to deny the hosts a deserving win.
In front of a sizeable crowd at Wembley Park, both sides showed intensity aplenty in the early exchanges to stake a claim of dominance to proceedings. Thus, there were attempts at either end of the park.
For Box Hill, industrious striker Jacob Byrns rattled the far upright on the turn from the edge of the penalty area two minutes in, while skipper Nicholas Kokolakis curled his devilish 25-yarder just over the opponent’s crossbar.
The visitors’ John Baird then tested United custodian Christian Pavlidis with a hopeful shot, which hardly troubled the latter.
Langwarrin went close twice more before the break, first through Etheridge’s flicked header that flew over the Box Hill goal off a left-flank cross on 18 minutes, while Baird fluffed his lines at an angle from the right of the penalty area to ruffle the side-netting.
After the recess though, Langwarrin looked to pile on the numbers upfront, whipping in crosses from the flank. Consequently, Box Hill were intent on throwing counter punches at pace with three forwards lurking on the shoulders of the opposition defenders.
Jet-heeled winger Delarno Pharoe climbed off the bench to inject much-needed pace to the Box Hill attack, and went close from inside the box on 66 minutes, but his lobbed effort was deflected away from target.
For Langwarrin, Wayne Wallace then tried his luck from 20 yards with an overhead kick following a corner on 69 minutes, but his attempt was miles away from Pavlidis’ goal.
Two minutes later, the moment of magic arrived from Marangos, who crafted Box Hill’s opener in style by nutmegging Langwarrin’s Damir Stoilovic down the right touchline and buried a looping effort into the far post in stellar fashion.
But the lead was short-lived, as Stoilovic darted down the left to feed Etheridge on 78 minutes, whose glancing nod from inside the six-yard box evaded Pavlidis and bounced home almost in slow-motion.
Although both sides upped the ante in the closing quarter, earning a host of corners and having a shy from half-chances, a winning strike eluded the rivals.
Box Hill United starting-XI: T Aresti, J Byrns (J Vun, 69’), I Joseph (D Pharoe, 51’), N Kokolakis ©, N Lacagnina, J Mammino, J Marangos, R McNamee (T Podaridis, 86’), A Miltiadou, D Nielsen, C Pavlidis (GK)
Unused substitutes: G Voliotis, Y Skliros (GK)