Night Series: UWA 2-2 Dianella

 Alex Kretowicz on the run - credit: gabriele maluga

Alex Kretowicz on the run - credit: gabriele maluga

Uni remains undefeated in the Night Series as Alex Kretowicz marked his return to the side with a dramatic late equaliser to see the club sit atop of the Group D ladder.

Teenage striker Zeke McPherson continued his prolific form as he opened the scoring 15 minutes into what was an extremely tight first-half.

Dianella responded just before the half-time whistle through Angel Andreas, as the forward's perfectly placed free-kick from the edge of the area levelled the scores.

Andreas then gave Dianella the ascendency swiftly after the break as his powerful shot rocketed into the net.

UWA showed great character and never gave up on the match, with their perseverance finally rewarded deep into injury-time, as Kretowicz buried an equaliser to ensure the spoils were shared at Walter Padbury Reserve.

Uni enjoyed a large portion of possession in the opening stages, with Dianella resorting to long-balls over the top to try and disrupt the UWA defence.

Michael Janssen's side, who were without influential figures Luke Randazzo, Andrew Xydas and Conor Devlin, deservedly hit the lead on the quarter hour mark as McPherson made it five goals from his first two starts for the club with a cool finish past the on-rushing Dianella keeper. Tristan Taylor's long ball found Ben Meredith on the right-wing and the midfielder's flick into space opened up a great chance for the striker who made no mistake from 10-yards on a difficult angle. 

The goal served to jolt the opposition into action, with Dianella beginning to turn the momentum with wave after wave of attack coming from both wings. Tristan Taylor and Mark Trevisiol worked superbly to preserve the lead, but there was nothing they could do about Andreas' free-kick from 20-yards. The talented Spaniard's goal saw the scores level at 1-1 heading into the break.

 UWA dug deep to gain a point against Dianella - Credit: Gabriele Maluga

UWA dug deep to gain a point against Dianella - Credit: Gabriele Maluga

Dianella continued with their momentum in the second-half, with Andreas on hand again to make it 2-1 to the White Eagles with a smashing shot into the top corner after dribbling into the penalty area.

UWA had their backs to the wall for most of the second period but worked tirelessly to limit Dianella to only a few half chances, with the defence and Tim Robertson in midfield, holding firm to preserve the hope of gaining a result in the closing stages.

With four minutes of stoppage time to come and the squad out on their feet after a gruelling encounter, it was fan favourite Kretowicz who came to the fore with a fantastic right-footed finish from Liam Kessel's flick-on to see the scores locked at 2-2 at the final whistle.

Skipper Josh Marocchi was full of praise for his side as he singled out their resilience and desire as a hugely promising sign for the rest of the season.

"The previous couple seasons we've perhaps been missing the hunger that we showed tonight against quality opposition," the captain said.

"I think a result like this is something we can look to when the going gets tough as we know that if we keep within touching distance then we have a great chance to get a result out of the match... I'm very proud of the boys."

UWA take on Ashfield this Sunday in Round 4 of the Night Series as the side aims to consolidate top spot.

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