Melbourne Victory snared a late equaliser to draw 1-1 with Western United and ensure milestone man Leigh Broxham didn’t leave his 350th A-League Men’s game empty handed.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley, in his 358th game, looked set to spoil Broxham’s party when he headed home in the 47th minute, before former United defender Brendan Hamill equalised in the 85th.
The draw extends both teams’ winless runs to three games, with United second behind Melbourne City and Victory sitting sixth.
United will also sweat on Josh Risdon’s fitness after the luckless Socceroos defender landed awkwardly in the 11th minute and was substituted 11 minutes later.
“We’ve got a few experienced players out plus Josh Risdon going down quite early that we had to reshuffle the whole backline and our midfield,” coach John Aloisi said.
“Really proud of the group. They show time and time again when things are against them, especially after losing the last game, that they react well and their resilience is really good.
“Josh Risdon’s so strong that he doesn’t go down for no reason, so little bit worried, and he tried so many times to get through it.
“It’s unfortunate. Hopefully it’s nothing serious. Hopefully it’s something that will only keep him out – he’s suspended on Saturday anyway – for a short period because he’s massive for us.”
After Victory’s Francesco Margiotta hit the bar on the stroke of half-time, United pounced.
Lachie Wales whipped a corner towards the near post where Connor Pain flicked on a header for Topor-Stanley to power home.
Jamie Young then pulled off exceptional saves to deny Jake Brimmer in the 53rd minute and Marco Rojas nine minutes later and Jason Geria in the 83rd.
Two minutes later Jason Davidson skidded a ball towards the near post where Hamill flicked home to snare a point.
“We had to forget that (conceding after half-time) quickly and maybe it shows how far the team has come or the club,” Victory coach Tony Popovic said.
“That just shows you how far they’ve come. You can see there is a lot of belief in the group.
“Maybe last year that’s a game we as a club lose and maybe lose it well, lose it comfortably.”
Popovic also hailed Broxham, who entered the fray in the 78th minute.
“I’ve always watched him from afar and in seeing him play all the various positions on the field and always do a good job for Melbourne Victory,” he said.
“Now, I’ve got the opportunity to coach him.
“It’s a credit to himself and his family and also a credit to the football club to have him here for so long and hopefully he will be here for a very long time in whatever capacity that is.”