Magpies young guns star in draw
DOON Villa missed another opportunity to claim a crucial three points, conceding a late goal to draw 2-2 with competition frontrunners Gympie Diggers in Gympie on Saturday night.
With both teams missing key players, the Magpies leaned on some of their young guns in Joel Shilleto and Jack Day to provide much-needed spark after last week's disastrous 3-1 loss to arch rival Sunbury.
And it was Shilleto, making his starting debut, who looked to have delivered the Magpies their sixth win of the Fraser Coast League season when the 16-year-old slid a pinpoint pass to his coach Joel Neilsen who fired it home to put his team ahead 2-1.
The visitors continued to push the ball, creating several chances to put the game beyond their opponents, but failed to capitalise.
Against the run of play, the Diggers equalised when a lapse in defence saw replacement Oliver Wittkopf calmly place his shot into the top right corner to escape with a point.
The draw means Doon Villa remains in third spot, five points behind United Warriors.
Neilsen defended his decision to not sit back and defend the team's lead saying its obsession with attacking football is what makes it one of the toughest teams to beat.
"We kept attacking because we knew we could get more (goals) out of it (the match)," he said.
"Their keeper (Tim Kross) did some good saves and he kept them in it.
"We will keep going with that attacking mindset because that's our game plan and the way we like to play."
Neilsen said it meant plenty to match a side of the Diggers' quality and made special mention of teenagers Shilleto and Day.
"They normally don't start but we gave them time and they both had cracking games," he said.
As for Shilleto's assist in Doon Villa's second goal, Neilsen said: "His control and composure was outstanding.
"He knew what the plan was and was able to suck the defenders in and get a good pass off.
"He also had a header which hit the crossbar, so he had a good game.
"He wasn't overawed by it despite starting his first game."
The Magpies' next match is against the Warriors on Saturday, which Neilsen has branded a must-win game for his players if they want to finish in the top two.