Wollongong Wolves frustrated by Rangers on home soil

RULED OFF: Wolves striker Lachlan Scott navigates a path to goal at WIN Stadium. Picture: Anna Warr
RULED OFF: Wolves striker Lachlan Scott navigates a path to goal at WIN Stadium. Picture: Anna Warr

Frustrated Wolves skipper Justin Pasfield says Sunday's 1-1 draw with Mt Druitt Rangers felt more like a loss despite the club remaining unbeaten to start the campaign.

Wollongong missed a golden chance to extend their margin at the top of the league after dominating possession and the bulk of the opportunities at WIN Stadium.

They had to come behind for the first time this season after Rangers' Alex Boyadjian scored eight minutes into the second half.

Wollongong got their equaliser from the penalty spot through Thomas James - his eighth of the campaign - to snatch a point for the hosts.

Thomas James

Thomas James

It keeps the Wolves one point clear at the top of competition after leading chasers APIA Leichhardt Tigers drew with Hakoah Sydney City East.

Pasfield admitted it was a frustrating afternoon. 

"When you have a successful team, teams are going to have a game plan to try and stop you. They did that," he said.

"Give them some credit. They defended for their lives but we probably had enough opportunities to win the game.

"Everybody is taking it as a bit of a loss, but that's the mentality we are trying to instill at the club this year. Teams can't just come down here and think they are getting three points now.

"I said to the boys after the game though that at the end of the day we are still undefeated. Next week we go again."

It could have been a very different game had it not been for the assistant referee's flag. 

Wollongong thought they'd taken the lead in the 31st minute when Lachlan Scott rounded the Rangers keeper Carlos Saliadarre and fired into an empty net.

However, a late flag ruled the strike weapon to be offside. 

The Wolves went close again just a minute into the second half as James fired a his rasping effort from the edge of the box off the crossbar. As the hosts continued to push for an opener, they copped one against the run of play.

Boyadjian was put through one-on-one with Pasfield and Rangers attacker made no mistake to opening the scoring in the 53rd minute.

The Wolves equaliser came with 13 minutes remaining after Nick Littler was brought down by a clumsy challenge in the box.

Saliadarre guessed the correct way on the spot kick, but James hit it with far too much power to be stopped. 

Wollongong continued to dominate after the goal but couldn't muster a second to snatch the points late in the piece.