A LATE winner by Haris Vrbovac gave Port Melbourne Sharks a 2-1 win over Altona Magic and a huge boost in their bid for promotion to the Victorian Premier League.
The result keep the Sharks two points clear of Pascoe Vale and North Geelong at the top of the Division 1 table, although Pascoe Vale has a game in hand.
There was no score in the first half, but the Sharks hit the front with a goal to Darryl Roach early in the second to put the pressure on the fourth-placed Magic.
A lack of discipline from the Sharks allowed Altona to equalise from a free kick with just five minutes left in the game before Vrbovac scored for the second successive match from a magnificent cross from Dylan Murnane.
Sharks senior coach Eric Vassiliadis said his players showed tremendous courage to come away from Altona with a win.
“I felt we were reasonably comfortably and we got out to a good 1-0 lead,” he said.
“Then we shot ourselves in the foot, giving away free kicks in bad areas.
“But we had the belief we could still win and I was really pleased with the boys in the last few minutes. We have players capable of scoring at any point.”
He said the team was travelling well but needed to hold on to leads.
“We just need that little bit of composure,” he said.
“When we have the lead, we need to keep attacking and wanting the ball. We can’t afford to make similar mistakes week-in week-out.”
The Sharks take on 10th-placed St Albans this week but Vassiliadis stressed it was no easy game.
“They match up well on us,” he said. “They beat us 4-2 earlier in the year and they’ll be desperate to win so we’re expecting a tough challenge.”