Mandurah City were denied all three points at Shamrock Rovers after a late penalty call gave the home side a share of the spoils in their match of the round clash at Grimrey Oval.
City had to come from behind to take a 2-1 lead before Chris Paskewich was adjudged to have pushed a Shamrock player in the box that gave Rovers the chance to grab a point.
The Dolphins started the game at lightning pace, seeing two superb efforts cleared off the line before a breakaway goals gave Shamrock a halftime lead.
The home side dominated once they scored but coach Doug Hesketh reorganised his troops at the interval and the difference was quickly noticeable.
A long across field pass from Tom Straker in the 50th minute saw Zimbabwean striker Abi Tcuono pull the ball down, beat the defender and fire home a superb shot from 20 metres.
City were now in control and went looking for a second.
And that decisive breakthrough came in the 64th minute when a stunning Jordan Rhodes free kick from 25 metres curled round the Shamrock defence and flew into the net.
City went looking for a third and peppered the home side’s goal – Johnny Brookes’ superb effort was tipped over the bar and Tcuono again brought the best out of the Rovers’ keeper.
Then came that late penalty and the sides ended the game level with City players and staff feeling they had dropped three points rather than gaining one.
When news came through that title challengers Ashfield had lost 2-1 at South West Phoenix the mood lifted with City still top and five points clear with seven games to go.
The reserves won their game 2-1 and the under-18s battled but went down 3-0.