Bendigo City FC seniors had a hard-fought on the-road-draw against Lara United on Saturday for round two of the NPL Men's State League 5 West season.
In what the team described as "less than ideal" conditions, City FC battled hard against the hosts in the first half without conceding a goal to see the scores level at nil-all at the main break.
City were able to capitalise with a goal from Lewis Merriman (72) midway through the second half, but moments later Lara quickly responded to see the game out 1-1.
Playing-coach Greg Thomas, who helped set up the goal, said Merriman made an excellent debut with the squad.
"He's been doing really well during pre-season and even better on the weekend against Lara to finish the match as one of our best players.
"His goal was well deserved."
Thomas said a challenge was overcoming the pitch at Lara Recreation Reserve.
"It was pretty small, rough and bumpy which took some getting used to," he said.
Despite finishing with a draw, Thomas was pleased with the result and said with each game the team continued to learn and develop together.
"We knew it was going to be a real battle away on-the-road against a top team," he said.
"Being such a young team we learn something new about each other every game."
In what turned into a tussle of a match, Thomas also received a red card late in the match.
"It was just a bit of a tackle in the last few minutes of the game - a push-and-shove which the referee interpreted as something else," he said.
"I just had to cop it."
The squad will now buckle down at training this week for their round three match against Maribyrnong Greens SC this Saturday at the Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve.
Meanwhile, City FC senior reserves defeated Lara 2-0.
The following day City FC's junior teams were in action for round nine of the pre-qualification series against Green Gully SC.
The under-14s had a tough day on the pitch going down to Green Gully in a scoreless defeat, final scores 0-3.
The under-16s fought hard in the first half to deny Green Gully any scoring opportunities.
However, the hosts buckled down with a goal early in the second half to take control of the match, final scores 0-1.
The under-15s went down fighting in a 0-5 loss and the under-18s were defeated 2-7.
Also in action was the club's under-13 team which triumphed at the Football Victoria boys and girls FC tournament.
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