UWA Nedlands FC and South West Phoenix both missed great opportunities to climb the ladder as they fought out a tight 1-1 draw at UWA Sports Park on the weekend.
UWA was looking to string together back to back wins for the first time since the first half of the season and started brightly with an early period of offensive territory and corners.
However, Phoenix was able to ride the storm and looked dangerous on the counter attack led by striker Lee Stewart.
UWA was unfortunate not to go ahead when Alex Kretowicz found himself in the middle of a goal-line scramble, but Phoenix’s keeper made himself big and was able to quell any danger.
At the other end, Phoenix had plenty of chances of their own with Stewart being unable to convert on some good build-up play courtesy of Phoenix captain Ryan Francis.
However, it would be Phoenix who opened the scoring against the run of play; a loose ball wasn’t dealt with properly by the UWA defence and it proved costly as Phoenix captain Ryan Francis was able to cut a dangerous ball back to Carlo Chielleni on the edge of the area.
The midfielder drove his effort through a crowded box and found the bottom corner to give Phoenix a 1-0 lead heading into half time.
The second half took a complete turn, with Phoenix enjoying the majority of the ball and having UWA on the back foot for most of the half.
Phoenix could have doubled its lead 10 minutes in when striker Lee Stewart broke clear of the UWA defence, but the striker’s near post effort smashed into the post.
The introduction of Robbie Black and Geordie Papathanassiou injected some vigour into the UWA side and shortly afterwards the home side drew level.
A brilliant through ball from Mordecai Appiah split apart the Phoenix centre halves and midfielder Lloyd Prout finished superbly past the oncoming keeper to make it 1-1.
The draw means UWA Nedlands avoids the drop zone with four games to play in 2016, while Phoenix need to collect a win in their next four fixtures to ensure safety.