Old Boys claimed another valuable point with a 2-2 draw against Mosgiel at Mosgiel on Saturday as they work their way out of the drop zone in their Football South Premier League campaign.
It might well have been a happier outcome for the Invercargill team who led 2-nil early in the second half and who were playing against a depleted Mosgiel team for a period of the half.
And Mosgiel got their equalising goal after the dismissal of their central defender Aaron Corkill from the field.
A goal from Old Boy's Jack Boland gave them their first half 1-nil lead and veteran Frank O'Boyle doubled the score to 2-nil within two minutes of the start of the second half.
Mosgiel struck back with a goal from Phil Kelly, then, as they gained more possession, the home team's ace striker, Regan Coldicott, chimed in to earn his team the 2-all draw.
Although he was delighted that Old Boys had gained their first competition point from a Dunedin game, team manager John Lange was disappointed they did not protect the lead but was impressed with the team's improvement.
The local Donald Gray Cup competition will go down to the wire, with Southend United taking a one-point advantage into the last games which will be played next week.
Ironically, it is a previously cancelled round of games and the teams will play the same opponents as Saturday but at different venues.
Southend United beat Waihopai 5-1 at Surrey Park on Saturday so for them to relinquish their competition lead would require a Herculean effort from Waihopai in the return game at Bain Park.
Mark Faulkner capped off a player-of-the-day performance with three goals for Southend while Mike Sheridan, from about 35 metres, and Kyle Schins completed the tally.
Schins' effort rated as the goal of the season as he weaved his way past seven opposition players, some twice, to slide the ball wide of Waihopai keeper Shane Harpur for Southend's final goal.
Daemon McNaught netted his third goal in as many games for Waihopai a minute into the second half which sparked a period of play dominated by Waihopai but in which the Southend defensive line held fast to allay any serious threat to their 2-1 lead at the time.
"The guys stuck to the task and battled through some dubious tackles to get the win. I thought Shae Wyering in defence had another outstanding game for us, and Kyle's goal, well, that was special," Southend coach Iain Walker said.
At Gore, Queens Park secured a comfortable 5-2 win over Gore Wanderers with striker Matty Burgess grabbing two, Tobi Reid two and Stu Kent scoring to keep the Park unit just one point behind leader Southend United.
Emilio Greber and Juan Jaurretche netted Wanderer's goals.
Thistle managed to claim the first win of their campaign when they beat Old Boys 2-nil at the ILT Turf. Darren Dummigan and Todd Findlater with a goal each secured the win.
Winton are the division one champions for the third season in a row but unlike the first two, which they won by one and two points respectively, they claimed this one with a nine-point margin. The team was unbeaten in their 14 games, scoring 56 goals and conceding just 12.
Waihopai added a touch of late season interest to the premier women's Kolk Cup competition when they beat second-placed Southend United 2-nil at Bain Park yesterday.
Kirsty Montgomery scored the goals that allowed third-placed Waihopai to move to within a point of Southend and claim the Ottley Challenge trophy.
More importantly, the result means league leader Queenstown Rovers who have a catch-up game in hand now have a four-point buffer over their nearest rivals.
Queenstown won yesterday's game by default.
Queens Park edged out Winton in an exciting seven-goal game at Surrey Park 3.
- The Southland Times