It was pure joy for the Moama-Echuca Border Raiders’ Division Two side on Sunday, notching up their first win of the year with a 3-2 margin over Spring Gully United in Moama.
The Division Two Raiders, which are mostly made up of Deniliquin Wanderers players after the two clubs merged to contest the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League this year, managed to reverse their fortunes of last week in a frantic finish.
With scores level at 2-all, goalkeeper Mathew Crothers put his body on the line with an incredible save in the dying stages of the match, knocking himself unconscious and leaving his side with 10 men on the field.
The Raiders then worked the ball forward despite being one man down, with Quinn Kane finding the back of the net in the last minute to give his side an emphatic victory.
Crothers, who is the Deniliquin Wanderers president, said it was a big moment for the side.
‘‘It’s been a tough year but it made this win that much sweeter,’’ he said.
‘‘I wasn’t fully with it when the goal went in but the concussion hurt a lot less when I found out we won.
‘‘The boys are all up and about and the confidence is up around the club now.
‘‘Hopefully we can finish the season with a few more wins and then look to next year to continue to improve.’’
The Raiders got off to a flying start with Kane scoring his first of two goals in the 13th minute.
The visitors struck back 15 minutes later to level the score through Angus Levett, with his first for the day.
It was deja vu just five minutes later, when Bailey Hart drove the ball into the back of the net with a strong header, similar to his goal the previous week.
The Raiders looked to be in control for most of the first half, before Levett managed to score again for Spring Gully right on half time.
‘‘Our passing and keeping possession of the ball was much cleaner,’’ Crothers said.
‘‘We were a little bit unlucky with a few shots on goal. Jeremy Busby had two shots hit the crossbar during the match.
‘‘The second half was a big arm wrestle and it just went back and forth with neither team able to score.
‘‘We probably would’ve been pretty content with a draw after the year we’ve had but it was just so good that we could get a win on the board.’’
Other results for the Border Raiders saw Division One go down 5-0, the women’s team win 4-1 and the youth team having a draw, 1-all.
The Division Two Raiders will now travel to Strathdale to take on the ladder leaders at Strathdale Park.