ILLAROO and Shoalhaven United will both take the good with the bad after their 2-all draw at Sharman Park on Saturday.
Both coaches had mixed feelings about their performances, believing they played well enough at times to take all three points, but were let down by poor passages of play.
The home side took a 2-nil lead in the first half, thanks to goals from Evan Leedham and Brady Warren.
But United managed to sneak one back just before the break, with Taite Arney scoring to make it 2-1 at half time.
United were presented with a number of opportunities in the second half and they managed to find an equaliser when the ball took an unlucky deflection for the home side, with the goal credited to Jake Hush.
Illaroo coach Andrew Timbs felt his side missed a good opportunity after they had an early lead.
“I’m not over the moon about letting a 2-nil lead slip,” Timbs said.
“I don’t know why, but it was like we went to sleep once we got in front and we got a bit of a reality check when they scored just before half time.
“It’s a game of halves and we only had a half a good performance really.”
Timbs thought there was a questionable decision towards the end of the game, which could have seen them given a penalty to go for the win, but it wasn’t to be.
To say United coach Trevor Skingle had mixed feelings about the game would be a vast understatement.
At times he was as cranky as he has ever been during his time as coach, but also saw the first signs his side can be a premiership contender for the first time this season.
“We were dreadful in the first half,” Skingle said.
“I was really pissed off at half time, probably the crankiest I’ve been in five or six years.
“But then the guts and determination we showed to step up in the second half, was the first time I’ve thought we had a good enough side to win it all season.
“If we can just squeeze back into the top four, I think we can definitely give it a shake.”
Timbs too feels his side is still in with a shot at making the finals if they can get the little mistakes out of their game.
A miracle run on the back end of last season saw Illaroo go from being down and out to within a whisker of the grand final, so they will know it is possible.
Timbs named Brady Warren, Angus Hoskin and Paul Maiolo as their best, while Skingle thought Matt Lewis, Matt Fuz, Josh Mackaness and Warwick Schultz were the best for United.