Bandits fire but Rovers force draw
DESPITE controlling most of the match, the Burringbar Bandits were robbed of victory in their season-opening Anzac Cup football clash on Sunday.
Tackling southern rivals Richmond at Burringbar Sports Complex, the Bandits stole the show in the first stanza but failed to convert dominance into goals and allowed Rovers to sneak a 2-2 draw on the road.
The Bandits opened ferociously on an immaculate but heavy pitch, dominating for the first 20 minutes, creating three clear opportunities but failing to finish off.
The hosts were soon punished for their inability in front of goal, conceding an own goal on the half-hour mark.
Rovers broke down the flank and a good cross into the area created confusion in the Burringbar defence, with the resulting clearance taking a scrappy deflection and winding up in the back of the net.
Burringbar bounced back from the restart, with a well-worked move finishing at the feet of Nathan Charman whose left-footed screamer from 20m out on a 45-degree angle scuttled across the turf and into the bottom right corner to level the score.
On the stroke of half time the Bandits were awarded a penalty and nicked the lead when new recruit Deyreiss Tobias blasted it into the bottom left corner.
Up 2-1 at the break, Burringbar was keen to get on with it in the second stanza but ran into a different Richmond side.
Both keepers were kept hopping for the opening 20 minutes, but it was Rovers who found an equaliser with a quarter-hour remaining.
Awarded a free-kick 25m out straight in front, Richmond’s giant sweeper Jason Matthews ripped the leather with an absolute screamer that took a deflection and wrong-footed the Burringbar defence, ensuring the game ended in a draw.