Goulburn Valley Suns rose for the final time this National Premier League season to secure their third straight victory.
It was the first time since May 2015 the Suns have won three consecutive games, and there was no better way to do it than against the competition’s second-placed side, Dandenong City.
In Nick Kalafatis’ final game as playing coach, the Suns started in scintillating fashion to lead three-nil at half-time, before eventually winning 3-2 in front of their home faithful.
Shaun Kane opened the scoring after five minutes, before Rob Hughes, in what could be his final game for the club, and captain Jamie England gave the Suns some breathing space.
However, the out-going coach was made to work for his final victory with City pulling two goals back via Anthony Mijac and James Kelly in the second half.
‘‘We were phenomenal in the first half, we pressed, we pushed high and made it really hard for City to play football,’’ Kalafatis said.
‘‘We scored early and I really thought that held us in a good position to keep the momentum building.’’
Kane opened the scoring after Cody Sellwood managed to find the diminutive figure on his own and on the edge of the six-yard box.
With little to do Kane scored his fifth goal of the season.
One soon became two for the hosts after Hughes was fed through by goalkeeper, Monty Al-Gazaly, before cooly rounding Damir Salcin in goals.
England then stood tall just before half-time to head the Suns into an unassailable advantage.
‘‘I thought all our goals were good, they were different and I feel we really exploited City at times, but in the second half they played some good football,’’ Kalafatis said.
Suns finish the campaign in fourth position after winning four of their past five games.
‘‘Over the last few weeks we have taken a different approach into the game, we’re not so much relying on points and I think that is making a difference,’’ Kalafatis said.
‘‘The boys are playing with freedom, we are pressing teams and we had been trying to score early.’’
The impressive victory comes against a City side that features the likes of former Socceroo Ljubo Milicevic and Melbourne Heart attackers Nick Kalmar and Mate Dugandzic.
●Meanwhile, Fred Zito’s under-20 Suns finished the season losing four out of their past five matches.
The Suns were again on the end of a one-goal losing margin, falling to Dandenong City 2-1.
Alou Kuol was the Suns’ only goal-scorer, netting his 14th of the season.