Steadfast Bega Devils hold firm

• Devils playing-coach Dan Blacka runs hard on the ball during last year’s grand final.

• Devils playing-coach Dan Blacka runs hard on the ball during last year’s grand final.

Round three of the Far South Coast Soccer Association tossed up a tantalising fixture, as early season leaders Tathra faced second place Bega at George Griffin Oval, Bega.

The match didn’t disappoint as both sides produced a thrilling encounter to finish 3-3. 

Bega started the first half with  the confidence that had seen them progress to a 22 match unbeaten streak dating back to July 2012.

They were able to take an 11th minute lead through right winger Ross Jones off a free kick.

The Devils’ early lead lasted just 10 minutes as Tathra, who were unfazed by their early deficit,  drew level through a lucky, albeit clever, shot over the head of Bega keeper Sam Hodder.

Things quickly turned pear- shaped for Bega as a red card was shown to playing-coach Dan Blacka for an altercation with a Tathra player leaving the Devils a man short.

With more than an hour still to play in the match, the Devils had to rally and cover the open space.

With an extra player on the field Tathra’s advantage saw them dominate possession, but Bega kept them at bay until after the break. 

Tathra capitalised on a one-on-one shot to take the lead early in the second half. 

On the brink of their first loss in over 21 months, Bega looked down and out.

However, the Devils don’t give up and drew on all their experience to once again level the scores through striker Harley Cox. 

Bega’s second goal was an example of pure speed as a long ball from midfielder Alec Caragher found Jones.

A quick turn of the heels and Jones set up Cox to score. 

Youngster Blake Grant polished off a great passing move to have Bega back in front. 

With victory in sight all Bega had to do was keep Tathra out for the final few minutes.

However with most players exhausted from chasing an extra player around for over an hour, one final attacking play would break Devils hearts and bring the scores level at 3-3. 

In other Devils senior action,  reserve grade kept marching on with a 2-0 victory over a young Tathra side with goals to Gerard Malone and Steve Raczkowski recording their third win from as many matches.

Meanwhile, the ladies once again produced a high scoring victory this time of  5-2 to also consolidate top spot on the ladder after three rounds.

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