A last-gasp equaliser by Sean Canham saw Sorrento salvage a point in a tense 3-3 draw with Stirling Lions at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday.
Having found themselves 3-1 down with 10 minutes remaining, Sorrento pushed men forward and found two scrappy goals to claim their first point in three weeks.
Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell said his side showed great character to bounce back from two consecutive defeats.
“When you are 3-1 down at home with 10 or so minutes to go you think the game is gone, so I’m very proud of that,” he said.
“It’s just disappointing that we put ourselves in that situation in the first place.”
Harnwell said he had asked for a response from his players after suffering two consecutive defeats and slipping from the top of the PS4 NPLWA ladder.
“Hopefully this gives us a bit of belief that we are where we are for a reason and we can start climbing back up and try and get that top spot again.”
Stirling had the better of the early chances and nearly found themselves ahead inside 10 minutes.
Moses Kalau got on the end of a Steve Sokol through-ball and fired at goal, but Sorrento’s replacement keeper Anthony Salpietro stood firm to make the save.
The visitors got their reward in the 14th minute, when Sokol turned onto a well-weighted pass from Lukas De Lima and fired into the top left from the edge of the area.
The lead was almost doubled minutes later, when Sorrento skipper Steve McDonald very nearly chested the ball into his own net before managing to clear it.
Moments after that, De Lima looped a long range effort over Salpietro and rattled the crossbar.
Despite Stirling’s attacking dominance, Sorrento managed to find a lifeline in the 37th minute to draw level.
A cross in from the left by Scott Bulloch was flicked on before finding Scott Witschge, who timed his run perfectly to fire home at the back post.
The hosts began to look more confident on either side of the half-time break, but an inability to turn their chances into goals saw Stirling regain control of the match.
Alex Suleski played a long throw into the box in the 67th minute and found substitute Jason Rubidge, but his header went wide of the target.
This should have served as a warning for Sorrento’s defence, as the exact same passage of play resulted in a goal six minutes later, with Rubidge taking it to 2-1.
Moses Kalau extended Stirling’s lead to 3-1 with 10 minutes remaining, slotting home cooly after receiving the ball on the left from Alex Tanevski.
Despite the result seemingly being sealed, Sorrento pushed men forward and showed the kind of character that saw them atop the table for six weeks of this season.
With five minutes remaining, Sam Byles crossed the ball in from the right and found substitute Billy Quinncroft at the back post.
Quinncroft nodded home via the head of a Stirling defender, going down on the scoresheet as an own goal.
In the dying embers of injury time Sean Canham found the equaliser, punishing the visitors for a late defensive lapse.
Stirling stalwart and stand-in skipper Daniel Micevski said he was pleased with his side’s performance but disappointed by the result.
“I thought in the whole 90 minutes we had a good performance. In the last five minutes we had a couple of lapses in concentration,” he said.
“Credit to Sorrento, they fought until the end, so we’ve just got to move on now.”
While the result sees Stirling three points adrift of the top half of the table, Micevski remains positive his side have everything to play for.
“I think we are a team that can beat anyone on our day,” he said.
“We just need more consistency with performances. We’ve got to keep stringing the wins together so we can push for a top four spot.”