THE classy Matt Breeze struck in the 88th minute for FC Bendigo to tie Saturday's National Premier League Victoria division one clash with Box Hill.
Bendigo had to fight back from a one-goal deficit after Rinor Muriqi beat the defence in the 12th minute of the round 21 match at Truscott Reserve in California Gully.
Aaron Cohen and Victor Rodriguez played key roles in FC Bendigo's defence as a hard-fought game was played out at the home of Eaglehawk Soccer Club.
Box Hill had more shots on goal in the first half but could not increase its lead.
In the second half, FC Bendigo keeper Christopher Xerri made a spectacular leap to catch the ball from a free kick.
FC Bendigo striker George Slefendorfas charged towards the goal up the line and crossed the ball to Breeze who beat the keeper with a fine strike.
Competing in NPL division one for the first time, FC Bendigo's record stands at five wins, four draws, 11 defeats.
FC Bendigo playing coach Steve Martin is proud of the team's progress.
“In the second half we moved the ball well around and created some oppourtunities and defensively we were solid all day,” Martin said of bouncing back from a 4-1 loss to Dandenong and a 2-0 loss to North Geelong Warriors in the previous two rounds.
“It’s a work in progress, these boys are stepping up to this level, it’s about consistent performance week in week out and today I was pleased the boys could show where we are at and how far we have come."
The day's play in Eaglehawk kicked off with a 2-1 victory for Box Hill in the under-20s clash with FC Bendigo.
Next week FC Bendigo takes on Springvale at White Eagles Stadium in Perry Road, Keysborough.
The under-20s clash starts at 1pm and will be followed by the National Premier League Victoria division one match at 3pm.