WAGGA United coach Travis Weir hopes a morale-boosting draw with ladder leaders Henwood Park can help spark his team's season.
A late Adrian Merrigan goal helped United snatch a 1-1 draw with Henwood Park at Rawlings Park on Sunday.
It wasn't really a steal however with Merrigan's goal a reward for perseverance after Wagga United did most of the attacking in the second half.
Ashley Wholery put Henwood Park in front about 10 minutes before half-time, only moments after his keeper Nathan Trinder had pulled off a couple of excellent saves.
Just when it looked as if Henwood Park were going to hold on for a third straight win, Merrigan struck to split the points.
Weir hopes the draw proves to be a launching paid for United's season.
"It was a cracking game and I think a draw is probably a fair result. They had chances early and we had chances late," Weir said.
"We talked about that at half-time, that our chances would come because they put a fair bit of effort into that first half, the young fellas. Scotty's got big praise on their work rate and their heart and they showed it. Henwood Park are a good side, they played well today, and our boys have got a lot of improving to do on what I saw today still.
"We were missing Alec (Hope) and Linc (Weir) today, two of our better players in key areas. So when they come back in it should make a big difference to our side."
A last minute reshuffle of the team saw Prince Thompson start in defence for United and he enjoyed a big game.
Weir was happy with Jed Sim making his first grade debut late in the game, while Liam Brown was another to impress his coach.
Henwood Park were still missing a couple of their own players but the likes of Isaac and Joel Tancredi led the way.
Henwood Park coach Scott Elphick struggled to hide his disappointment in the result despite maintaining their undefeated start to the year.
"It's okay, it's not a loss and we probably needed that too a little bit because we weren't fired up enough to get going," Elphick said.
"Our one-twos weren't meeting, we weren't finishing play, we got into playing their style of football, which is very defensive. They're a defensive team, they're good, they shouldn't be sitting where they're sitting on the ladder, but we just couldn't finish the plays and it was scappy football in the second half."