Wollongong United coach Jeff Allport was adamant his squad should have got more than a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw with fellow high flyers Albion Park White Eagles at Terry Reserve on Saturday.
United took an early advantage when Nathan Elasi converted from the penalty spot but were pegged back after Hikaru Kawasakiya found the head of Robert Delbanco midway through the first half.
They had enough chances to steal back the advantage, but were made to rue several missed opportunities over the 90 minutes. While pleased with his side’s overall performance, Allport felt his men had let slip a chance to claim maximum points for a sixth consecutive match.
“We played really well, but we should have been four or five up at the half had we been a bit more clinical. We just couldn’t find a second goal,” Allport said.
“We created a lot which is pleasing.
“We held possession really well and looked good but just couldn’t find a winner when we needed it.
“Overall I was pleased with the way we played but performance wise it feels like we have dropped two points rather than gaining one.”
United’s first big chance came when striker Matthew McNab cannoned his effort off the crossbar in the 15th minute.
They broke the deadlock four minutes later when Elasi stepped up from the penalty spot after Stephen Domenici was fouled in the box.
Park’s equaliser off the head of Delbanco came in the 27th minute.
McNab continued to toil hard for a goal of his own in the second half, but couldn’t breach a resolute Chris Fuentes Ramirez in the Park goal.
After a slow start to the season, the draw sees United remain five points behind ladder leaders Bulli.
It extended their unbeaten streak to six Illawarra Premier League matches.
“We are in amongst it now,” Allport said.
“We have got a bit of confidence back and you can see it in the way we have been playing over the past month.
“Winning games does that for a team.
“There is a good feel around the club.
“We were disappointed not to get more on Saturday but have to stay focused because Olympic and Bulli aren’t too far away.”
Wollongong travel to Memorial Park to face Corrimal Rangers next weekend while Park also hit the road to meet Cringila Lions.
Meanwhile, Bulli remain at the top of the competition after a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Corrimal Rangers.
Wollongong Olympic kept in touch with the ladder leaders with a 4-1 over Tarrawanna, Port Kembla beat Cringila 1-0 and Picton Rangers drew 2-2 with Fernhill Foxes.
Woonona edged out South Coast United 1-0.
TABLE: Bulli 28 Wollongong Olympic 26 Wollongong United 23 Albion Park White Eagles 22 Tarrawanna Blueys 17 Port Kembla 16 Fernhill Foxes 16 Corrimal Rangers 14 Cringila Lions 11 Woonona Sharks 10 Picton Rangers 4 South Coast United 0.