The Goulburn Valley Suns under-20s began their National Premier League campaign with a 1-1 draw against Springvale White Eagles at McEwen Reserve on Saturday.
The young Suns took the lead through Alou Kuoh’s second half strike before the visitors equalised late in the game.
Suns coach Fred Zito was disappointed his side could not hold out to claim all three points, but took positives from the result.
‘‘When you get to that stage in the game and then concede with 15 minutes left, it is disappointing,’’ Zito said.
‘‘It is not as good as a win, but we will take it and work on a few things.’’
In a fiery contest, Kuoh latched onto a a defensive error to give the Suns the advantage early in the second half, following a mishap from the Springvale White Eagles goalkeeper.
Along with Kuoh, Cooper Gosstray and Geordie Lelliott were dominant for the Suns, causing plenty of problems for the Eagles.
Zito believed a senior appearance for Gosstray and Lelliott would be likely if they delivered consistently.
‘‘Those two boys were great, they fought hard and if they keep it up they could be playing seniors in the not too distant future,’’ Zito said.
Suns goalkeeper Declan Maiorano was forced off in the second half after receiving treatment for a head injury.
The brave goalkeeper came to claim a corner before he was struck by a stray elbow, leaving him prone on the floor.
Maiorano barely lasted five minutes after the incident before being substituted for Lucas Enders.
Fortunately for the Suns, Maiorano’s injury was not as serious as first feared with the keeper making a full recovery.
‘‘I spoke to him the next day and he was fine,’’ Zito said.
The Suns next play Nunawading City on Sunday.