SLOW-STARTING Melville City fought back from a two-goal deficit to salvage a point in a 2-2 draw with Old Aquinians in round four of the women’s State League Hockey at Aquinas Turf on Saturday.
Prior to the game, Melville coach Mal Cowan alerted the team to the fact that in the past two weeks the opposition had scored against them in the first three and eight minutes respectively.
Despite asking the girls to start playing from the get go, some loose defensive work gave Aquinas striker Savannah Fitzpatrick enough room to slot the first goal of the match after six minutes.
To make matters worse, four minutes later the Reds netted another goal to take a 2-0 lead.
The early lapses were the catalyst for Melville to pick up and work themselves back into the contest with some hard running off the ball by the strikers and the defenders holding possession and stringing a few passes together.
It was not all easy going with Melville forced to see off a pair of penalty corners from the Reds.
Up the other end, Melville was also kept scoreless despite earning a couple of penalty corners of its own.
At half-time Cowan instructed the girls to continue sticking with the game plan stating that more opportunities would be created.
This turned out to be good advice, as Melville began to create havoc amongst the Aquinas defence.
Multiple penalty corners were awarded, but again Melville could not convert.
With 17 minutes remaining, the strikers withstood many stick checks and questionable tackles to earn a penalty stroke, which was converted by Mathilda Carmichael.
The final 15 minutes was dominated by Melville but the Old Aquinians goalkeeper made a few critical saves, which meant they maintained their one goal lead until the final two minutes when Melville was finally able to convert from a penalty corner.