FC Bendigo ties clash with Moreland Zebras

FC Bendigo captured its first point in the National Premier League Victoria division one championship after a two-all draw in Saturday night's soccer clash with Moreland Zebras. 

Bendigo led 2-0 after captain Trent Waterson brilliantly headed a cross from Matt Breeze in the 14th minute of the second half.

Playing at home for the first time, FC Bendigo was first to score in the contest when a strike from Amarah Kromah deflected off an opponent and into the net.

A crowd of a few hundred at the Tom Flood Sports Centre had plenty to cheer about after Waterson's goal and subsequent somersault.

The Zebras began to up the pressure through midfield and in attack.

After controlling a lot of play with precision passes, FC Bendigo started to turn the ball over, or Moreland won more one-on-one duels.

A headed goal by Liam Brian in the 34th minute of the second half lifted Moreland's spirits.

A strike by Simon Tolli went under the lunge by keeper Sebastian Mattei, who had made several saves, to level scores in the 89th minute of the match.

Bendigo went into attack once more, but the shot was askew.

A few minutes later the whistle sounded to end the historic contest at 2-2 apiece.

FC Bendigo's best included Waterson, who led by his actions in attack and midfield, as well as Kromah, and Alon Blungart as the central defensive midfielder.

FC Bendigo playing coach Steve Martin said for the match to end in a tie was "bitterly disappointing".

Martin said there were again many great signs in Bendigo's play, but the Zebras pressure in the last 15 minutes forced some costly turnovers.

The night's play kicked off with the Zebras winning the under-20s match, 2-1.

Bendigo is on the road for next Saturday's battle with St Albans.

FC Bendigo will be back at the Tom Flood Sports Centre on April 26 to tackle Richmond. 

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