A 86th minute goal from teenage flyer Scott Endacott sparked Cootamundra’s finals hopes back into life on Saturday night.
The Strikers were out and out underdogs against Tolland at Kessler Park after successive losses to Henwood Park and Lake Albert but fought hard against the competition heavyweights to secure valuable points on the road.
Tolland opened the scoring through skipper Richard Skidmore and looked set to emulate the attacking form that saw them slot five goals past Young in their last outing.
Cootamundra, however, were suddenly up to the task, repelling chances and pushing back up the field before Josh Purtell bagged an equaliser in the shadows of half time.
The Wolves re-established their lead through star forward Jaiden O’Brien, who slotted his 20th goal of the season to hand Tolland a 2-1 advantage with roughly 30 minutes remaining.
Cootamundra pushed hard to equalise and found themselves with a one-man advantage after late red card to Nicholas Tsipiras saw Tolland understaffed for the final 20 minutes.
Redoubling their efforts, the Strikers surged forwards and eventually found their second goal through Endacott, sealing a vital competition point and condemning Tolland to their first draw of the season.
Cootamundra skipper Adam McPhail admitted the draw was “a pretty good result” for his side.
“Going into this contest, we knew we needed points,” McPhail said.
“We haven’t been playing badly over the past few weeks and I think in the end, we probably could’ve pinched this one too.
“But hey, it’s good to get something out of it.”
McPhail made particular note of Endacott’s performance under lights, heaping praise upon the youngster.
“He’s been going really well these last few games,” McPhail said.
“He’s got some genuine pace and he’s starting to beat players one on one and create some chances.”
Tolland coach Daniel Lawrence praised Cootamundra for a “tight game” but said the mood around his camp was clear.
“It’s disappointing and the boys are pretty disappointed with the result,” Lawrence said.
“We were just trying to consolidate after the red card and Coota just scored late to get there.”
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