Darby FC and Durham United FA battled to a 2-2 draw in a east GTA derby that went to the final whistle, with Durham's Brianna De Souza (90') scoring an equalizer with the last kick of the game to secure a 2-2 draw on the road.
"Honestly, first of all, I want to say hats off to the Darby team," said Durham's head coach, Ramin Mohammadi. "They are great, young athletes and I think that's what this league is about - bringing through the young kids, developing them, and you see the results in a couple years."
"In terms of this game, we have been losing the older players and are calling up the young ones, so there wasn't a lot of harmony in play, but overall it's a great opportunity for the young kids. I'm happy with the draw, at this time of the season it is okay."
Darby drew first blood after Selah Hopkins (59') finished with a tidy left-footed strike, before Durham's Hollie Babut (64') equalized within five minutes. Giulia Giovinazzi (77') put the home side up again with less than a quarter hour left, and set up a dramatic finish with De Souza's last gasp leveller.
"I think it was a great goal by Selah Hopkins," said Darby head coach, Mirco Schroff.
"She has a great left foot and is very dynamic with her movements. It's very hard to get the ball off her. She just needs to be more confident in these situations to take advantage of them more often, but tonight she did."
"The second goal as well, by Giulia Giovinazzi - a young player, with a great touch and finish - just shows the confidence in these girls, which we have been trying to build up through the system that we have in both clubs at Whitby and Darlington. We are trying to form and develop confident players that can step up and also have a positive impact on the game."
Darby's progress can be somewhat accurately charted by their results against Durham - the 2014 League1 champions and a regular powerhouse - over the past two seasons.
"I don't think we were overly excited to get the point, but I do think it marks a natural progression for us," agreed Schroff.
"Last year we had a 7-0 loss, then a 4-1 loss, and then a 5-3 loss this year - it has gotten closer and closer. Today was the day where we could clinch a point but should have been three," he added.
"At the end of the day, we don't want to get greedy but if we are up 2-1 in the last minute and with the last kick of the ball... it just would have been nice to get that over the mark. We are thrilled with the point and thought with the young players we had today that they did very well in achieving that."
Darby FC will next play Vaughan Azzurri on August 25 at Whitby Soccer Centre, Whitby.
Durham United FA will next play Vaughan Azzurri on August 23 at McNaughton Park, Vaughan.