Latest of equalisers buoys Southern United

There is nothing like snatching a result in the dying stages.

A 93rd-minute equaliser snaffled a point for Southern United in Hamilton yesterday.

Garbhan Coughlan broke a five-match goal-scoring drought to make it 1-1 and deny Hamilton Wanderers a win in the national football premiership.

He was on the edge of the penalty area when a corner was punched away towards him.

It was type of opportunity the Irishman — who has now scored 28 goals in 44 matches for Southern — thrives off.

He drove it in and elation followed.

It followed a late penalty which had put Hamilton in front.

Jordan Shaw had made a run, before being brought down in the box.

That led to Xavier Pratt dispatching one from the spot, giving Hamilton the lead in the 85th minute.

It was a strong way for Southern to bounce back after a 6-0 loss to Eastern Suburbs.

The point leaves it six points shy of the top four with five games remaining.

It was also new head coach Terry Boylan’s first game in charge, following Paul O’Reilly’s departure.

He said there had been plenty of passion in the performance and that had been key in the result.

"It was pure emotion, raw emotion, passion, desire, want.

"It was all self-driven.

"Everybody showed up and everybody did their collective own bits.

"The boys worked really hard during the week and it showed on the pitch.

"The old hunger and the old bite of the never-say-die attitude, it was really commendable today.

"The boys deserved to get their point. It was really good."

While the Hamilton side had significant threats in the likes of Tommy Semmy and Derek Tieku, Southern quelled them well.

However, Boylan felt it was emotion that trumped tactics yesterday.

"It’s been a hard two weeks for the boys, individually and collectively.

"After coming off a hard 6-0 thumping by a very good side, we were very wary of Hamilton.

"They have a lot of threats. We tried to nullify that out, which we did.

"Everybody wanted to be in the way of the ball.

"Hamilton had a lot of opportunities, but we stopped them.

"We tried to counter them quickly; it was just the finish we were lacking."

Goalkeeper Liam Little suffered a calf injury late in the game, which forced him off the park and allowed Levi Waddington to make his debut.

Southern will be hoping he recovers for next week’s home match against Waitakere United.

In other matches, Waitakere United beat Eastern Suburbs 1-0 to move into third place with a game in hand.

Hawke’s Bay United took a 2-1 win over Canterbury United, while Team Wellington beat Tasman United 3-1.

Auckland City remains unbeaten atop the table with a 3-2 win over the Wellington Phoenix Reserves.


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