DRAWS have been Bendigo City's enemy in Men's State League 5 West soccer this season.
But the league's newcomers were glad to force one in Saturday's clash against Lara United at Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve.
Unable to convert its chances, City trailed 2-0 until very late in the game.
That was until skipper Daniel Purdy added some respectability to the scoreline with a goal in the 88th minute.
Never a team to lie down and sensing an opportunity to end the match on a high, Bendigo City was able to finish on level terms after striker Luke Burns chimed in with his eighth goal of the season in injury time.
Bendigo City coach Greg Thomas could empathise with Lara United, which had led 2-0 since the 26th minute after Samuele Volpe had added the second of his two goals for the match.
It could also be seen as poetic justice with City squandering several leads this season only to have its matches end in stalemates.
"They copped what a lot of sides have done to us this season, but we felt we earned it in the end," Thomas said.
"It was an evenly-contested match; we had plenty of chances and in the first half they took their chances and we didn't take ours and they were just a little more hungry and desperate than us.
"After a few words at half time, the boys came out with a different intensity in the second half and we got our just reward in the end."
It was Bendigo City's third draw in a row, its fourth in its last six matches and sixth for the season overall.
While frustrated with not having converted more of its close calls into wins, Thomas took some solace in those results.
"We spoke about it Saturday night, we've drawn six games now out of 13 and one thing about it is that it proves we are hard to beat and we're no pushovers," he said.
"We haven't lost too many, it just been those draws and those late conceded goals.
"We are a hard team to beat and I think it shows we are building something for the future."
They copped what a lot of sides have done to us this season, but we felt we earned it in the end.- Bendigo City playing coach Greg Thomas
In terms of individual performances, Thomas said Burns and Lewis Merriman were good up front and Purdy had helped keep City in the game after the team went down early.
He reserved praise for Joshua Brown, who came in for his first game of the season and had a positive impact on the game and his team-mates.
"We had a few injuries and were missing a few players, but he performed well," Thomas said.
"Those injuries didn't help us - Sam Pitson and Riley Henderson were out, which made it a bit of a battle - but Joshua came in and did a great job.
"He's been playing well in the reserves, so he really deserved his chance."
Bendigo City's search for its first win since round six over league leaders Barwon continues next Saturday against Maribyrnong Greens in Melbourne.
The Greens (2-9-2) were beaten 2-1 by Balmoral on Saturday.
In Saturday's reserves clash, Bendigo City (10-2-1), aided by an own goal in the 90th minute, defeated Lara United 1-0 to retain second spot on the ladder.
City trails Melton Phoenix on the ladder by only two points.
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