A landmark maiden draw for the Wagga City Wanderers elicited an aggressive response from their opponents when the score settled at 3-3 on Saturday.
Southern Districts, ranked second in the State League Two competition, demonstrated their rage at Gissing Oval when they drew with the lowest-ranked team.
“They picked a fight, threw a few punches,” Wagga captain Sam Manglesdorf said.
“We were happy to shake hands, but anyone who was going to lose points to us are not going to be happy.”
Manglesdorf maintains that Wagga players held their dignity and “didn’t overreact” however the referees penalised players from both teams with a red card including Carl Pideski.
Any optimism sparked from the Wanderers first point on the board has been overshadowed by an eminent player deficit.
With key midfielder and goal-scorer Adrien Jolly returning to France for four weeks, and Wanderers goal-keeper Aaron Thomas on holidays for three weeks, Pideski’s infringement will also take its toll.
Saturday’s match revealed the Wanderers at their best.
The lead seesawed back and forth with Southern ahead 1-0 at half time, Wagga clawing back to lead 2-1, Southern snatching the lead, ahead 3-2, and Wagga equalising in the final minutes.
A Wagga striker, midfielder and defender scored a goal; Tyler Allen, Ally McLeod and Dylan Berkrey.
“It was a massive team effort,” Manglesdorf said.
“We were a little disappointed not to take away the three points, I think we deserved to win.”
Notably, McLeod pocketed a goal from a penalty, bringing great relief to coach Blaise Fagan who watched last week as the Wanderers missed in the same situation.
“Realistically, everything’s in favour of the striker, we should be scoring from penalties,” Fagan said.
Jonathan Mathers was Fagan’s man of the match.
“He had a lot of heart, his touch on the ball was incredible; good in attack and defence,” Manglesdorf said.
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