A double to Wanderers live wire Caiden Reddan has helped the Orange men’s Premier League Hockey club snatch a 3-all draw with a vastly-improved Parkes.
Reddan’s equaliser – he beat United keeper one-on-one with a sharp strike, low to the left of Will Blunt – drew the hosts level with Parkes with just two minutes to play.
Searching for win number two of the season, United lifted a gear in the final stages and very nearly snuck a late goal home, but two cracking saves by Wanderers stopper Jacob Skelton meant the spoils were shared.
Considering both sides can’t make the 2017 top four and both are in the process of ushering in a younger generation, Saturday’s display would have been encouraging for both Parkes skipper Dan Wilson and Wanderers coach Mark Pengilly.
“We were hoping to snatch it at the end there but it was good to get one back,” Pengilly said.
“We sort of fell away from the game plan a bit, which is the frustrating side of it, but when the guys get it together they can play some good hockey. We’ve just got to do it for the full game and not patches of it.”
When the guys get it together they can play some good hockey. We’ve just got to do it for the full game and not patches of it.Wanderers coach Mark Pengilly
Wilson added Parkes was already looking towards 2018.
“We’re a young side this year, those experiences will help us build towards next year but it would have been good to get the win for this year,” he said.
Wanderers started the better of the two sides, Alex Said scoring early on before Andrew Bourke drew the visitors level with a clever winner off a short corner two minutes before the break.
Hamish Orr then edged United ahead before Reddan’s first found the back of the goal.
Wanderer Adam Hurford and Parkes’ Regan Hotham were shown cards either side of Reddan’s goal, the contest at times developing into a fiery one.
But the lid was kept on both sides, despite Wanderers being denied a goal on the hour mark.
Bourke hit home his second just 60 seconds after that, before Reddan managed to get on the score sheet again late to round out the scoring at 3-all.
“That’s the encouraging part … you never think they’re out of it, something comes from one of the guys,” Pengilly said, Reddan clearly that guy this week for Wanderers.
“We had a good training on Thursday night and we thought we’d roll into the game but being a young side, they’re still growing the mental capacity to be able to stick it out.
Bourke was outstanding for the visitors, scoring twice and posing a constant threat to the Wanderers defence.
Wilson said his side had a point to prove following an embarrassing loss to the Orange side earlier in the season.
“Absolutely, last time in Parkes they got the cash that day 7-3 … it was good to come down today and put a better performance in,” Wilson said. “There was a couple of crucial goals for us today from Bourkey.”