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A gritty second-half performance and a last-minute goal helped Dunedin Technical draw 3-3 with Coastal Spirit in Christchurch yesterday.
In a united team display, the Dunedin side rallied to level the game after trailing 2-0 at half-time in their Southern Football League match. The southerners scored two second-half goals before Danny Ledwith found the back of the net to clinch a draw for the visitors in the last minute of the match. It was enough to earn Dunedin Technical a tick of approval from their coach Tony Martin.
"To score in the last minute to procure a draw after being two down at half-time, we will take that," he said.
The Dunedin side was simply beaten out of the starting blocks.
"Part of the reason we are playing in this league is to cope with the intensity of it and it probably took us a good half to get in to the game," Martin said.
"To be blunt, Coastal were deservedly up 2-nil at half-time.
" ... for some time, there has been a lack of intensity [in the Dunedin league] and for our boys to finally come up to Christchurch and meet teams that are of a different level, the intensity level rises. And it does take some time, especially for young players, to come to terms with it."
Dunedin Technical drew level in the second half through goals to Andy Coburn and Garbhan Coughlan.
"We made a few adjustments at half-time and the boys were into it and our second-half performance was excellent," Martin said.
The match appeared to be heading for a draw before the teams played out a thrilling final stanza.
Coastal Spirit fans may have thought their side had clinched a winning goal when the home side scored early in injury time.
But a tenacious Dunedin Tech side did not let the game end there and Danny Ledwith slotted a goal in the last minute of play.
Martin gave credit to his side for uniting as a team to seal a 3-3 draw.
"All of the players performed heroically in the second half.
"It is hard to single one player out — it was a total team performance."
Saturday’s Southern Football League match between Queenstown AFC and Southland United was was postponed after the Queenstown Events Centre pitch became waterlogged. The game has been provisionally scheduled for this Saturday.
Cashmere Technical and Ferrymead Bays FC drew in Saturday’s other Southern Football League match.
Nomads United AFC beat Nelson Suburbs FC 3-0 in Christchurch yesterday.