Box Hill United’s senior men picked up a vital point against Moreland Zebras, following a 1-1 draw this afternoon at Wembley Park.
Squaring off against the ladder-leaders from the NPL2 (West), Box Hill nosed ahead through Rowan McNamee’s opener. However, Moreland clawed their way level through Cameron Watson’s second-half spot-kick.
In a game that never really hit the highest of tempos over 90 minutes, the hosts needed to stay alert against Moreland’s acceleration down the flanks and the diagonals over the rearguard though.
The more-fancied visitors tested Box Hill goalkeeper Christian Pavlidis few seconds into the first-half. But Pavlidis was equal to Thomas Barforosh’s snapshot from 20 yards.
McNamee then stabbed home the opener on 12 minutes after Jammie Mammino had done the hard work to find Delarno Pharoe on the left, who teed up McNamee inside the area.
The Zebras now looked to utilise their pace on the counter on 20 minutes, darting along the right flank. But Box Hill defended in numbers to smother the danger at the edge of the penalty box.
Just before the breather, Tremayne Sadler ruffled the left side-netting after receiving a searching ball from deep inside the visitors’ half.
Box Hill began the second period 1-0 up, intent on maintaining their shape and moving the ball around with composure.
And half-time substitute Jacob Byrns earned his side a corner, which McNamee floated in on 51 minutes. But the Zebras cleared their lines from inside a crowded 18-yard area.
Box Hill conceded an unfortunate penalty ten minutes later though, as Danish centre-back Dennis Nielsen wrestled for possession with a Moreland forward, and the referee deemed the tussle as a foul. Captain Watson then wrong-footed Pavlidis to restore parity from the resulting penalty.
Both sides continued to enjoy a fair share of possession for the remainder of the game, but neither managed to cut their teeth into proceedings.
The Zebras had a late shy on an open goal, following Pavlidis’ attempt to punch the ball rushing out of his line after a free-kick from near the half-way line. But Barforosh skied the ball, which proved to be the game’s last notable action.
Box Hill United starting-XI: T Aresti (J Byrns, 46’), N Kokolakis ©, N Lacagnina (I Joseph, 78’), J Mammino, J Marangos, R McNamee, D Nielsen, C Pavlidis (GK), D Pharoe, J Vun (G Voliotis, 56’), T Podaridis
Unused substitutes: B Skliros, B Caballero (GK)