Melbourne Victory earned a hard-fought point in a 0-0 draw with Altona Magic in the NPL2 West on Saturday.
Both teams had their chances in a relatively scrappy Round 3 encounter at Paisley Park.
But neither was able to find a winner as they shared the spoils after a huge battle.
The best chances of the first half came in the opening seven minutes.
Joshua Kelic fired over the crossbar after a Nicholas Sette cutback in the fourth minute before Jon McShane squandered a good chance for the Magic.
The remainder of the half was largely a scrap as both teams battled in the middle third.
Magic almost opened the scoring early in the second half, hitting the crossbar after a corner.
Victory settled after that scare as Nuh Sehavdic, Sette, Jonathan Vakirtzis and Benjamin Carrigan had half-chances for the visitor.
Birkan Kirdar and Sette went close for Victory in the closing stages, but it was unable to find a winner.
Head coach Gareth Naven
“They’re working hard, they’re trying to be somebody and I think that’s really important, not only for the group to understand that it takes dedication, commitment and that should be normal for this group of young players. At the moment, they’re working really hard to be somebody and I think they’re taking another step forward in regards to playing the right football at the right moment.
“With today’s match against a fairly experienced group of players, I think they competed, they contested, they ran hard, they tried to score, defended well and I think they got their rewards tonight which was really important for them I think.
“What it does is for young players it’s important to have confidence and belief and I think it just adds to their belief and it just tops up like a battery. I think tonight, and I said to the group, the contribution is going to have to happen from everybody, the whole group, not just players playing each week, it’s going to be a total contribution that’ll be them to be somebody.”
Victory’s under-20s played out a 1-1 draw with Altona Magic.
NPL2 West 2018 Round 3
Altona Magic 0
Melbourne Victory 0
Melbourne Victory: Matthew Sutton; Andrew Visciglio, Benjamin Carrigan, Cameron McGilp, Jonathan Vakirtzis (c); Thierry Iradukunda, Nicholas Hatzigeorgiou (Brady Quinn); Nicholas Sette, Birkan Kirdar, Joshua Kelic (Jack Palazzolo); Nuh Sehavdic.
Victory is back at home in Round 4, hosting the Moreland Zebras at Epping Stadium on Sunday, March 11.