MELVILLE City failed to start its State League Division Two season with a win, drawing 1-1 with Morley Windmills at John Connell Reserve.
Mark Lucas’ long-range strike rescued a point for the home team, who played against ten-men for most of the match.
Morley looked the more dangerous side throughout, despite Ben Wantee’s dismissal for striking Adam Mangion just before half time.
In a tight first half, the away side had the better chances, with Mangion’s last-ditch tackle thwarting Wantee before Daniel Agudelo made a good save from Maxine Berenguer.
The game looked like it may turn on its head when the linesman spotted Wantee swing an arm at Mangion behind play and the referee gave him his marching orders.
Marc Anthony missed a great chance to put Morley ahead when he headed wide, before it had a goal disallowed after Yves Mwila obstructed Agudelo’s vision in an offside position.
Morley continued to probe in the second half, as Mwila rolled a shot just wide, while Christian Long could not convert a one-on-one up the other end.
The deadlock was finally broken when Igor Novakovic strolled through the defence and was fouled by Agudelo, and Mwila converted the resultant penalty.
However, the lead was short-lived as Lucas carried the ball forward and unleashed a low strike from outside the area, which found the net via both posts.
With Morley tiring, substitute Brodie Harrison had a superb chance for Melville deep into injury time, but was unable to direct his shot past the keeper.
Earlier, Melville’s reserve side triumphed 5-0 over its Morley counterparts, while the under-18s won 3-0.