Daryl Kennewell's Ex-Services produced one of the more courageous efforts you'll see in this season's Premier League Hockey edition as the hampered side stuck it to Confederates for 60 minutes, escaping with a 2-2 draw with only 10 players on the field.
Exies shot out of the blocks early, going up 2-0 as Larissa Gallard and Chloe Barrett both scored goals for the women in yellow and despite holding a two-goal advantage at half-time, Kennewell knew his side would be in for a fight as Confederates looked to be warming to the task.
The coach's inkling was correct as the first-placed Feds found joy through Heidi Townsend and Emily Gould after the break and looked set to score the go-ahead goal at several stages in the fourth quarter, only to come up short.
Any time you're a player down against one of the better sides in the competition, you're content with a share of the spoils and that was exactly Kennewell's attitude in the dugout post-match.
"We just stuck to our guns," Kennewell said.
"They got a couple of good goals but we did really well to stay in the contest the whole time.
The girls didn't run out of legs and they let the ball do the work. It was a really good effort and a really good game too."
Ex-Services didn't do much throughout the 60-minute frame but Kennewell felt as though they went away from their game plan towards the back end of the contest.
"We started to get into their mentality of rushing everything," he said.
"At third-quarter time I told the girls we just needed to get back to what we want to do and we stuck to that plan and just built on what we did last week.
"We wanted to control the middle of the field and make sure we work up the field together."
Feds' coach Nic Milne had mixed emotions after the match but ultimately, was happy his side showed the perseverance required to erase a two-goal deficit.
"We didn't panic and we did our job and showed what we can do," Milne said.
"We threw the ball away too much in the first half and even though they were one short, I knew they would get up for the game... they'd run around with seven players and still give it a good go.
After three games, Milne's got a good idea of the talent at his disposal and is content with where the side's at.
"There's heaps of potential there," he said.
"If they keep playing the way they've showed they can play, they'll be in the top four. It's just a matter of keeping the ball and playing for 60 minutes not 30.
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