A Matt Lelliott super-strike proved enough to steer his Goulburn Valley Suns to consecutive National Premier League Two victories on Sunday.
Lelliott, after drawing the ire of the referee in the 22nd minute in the form of a yellow card, crunched a loose ball on the edge of the box into the net with force in the 31st minute to break an early deadlock between the Suns and Eastern Lions.
The goal lifted those around him, and allowed his teammates to control proceedings until the final whistle to secure a second triumph in as many matches after last weekend’s 3-2 success against Nunawading City.
‘‘The ball came back out from a corner towards the edge of the box and he powered it into the roof of the net,’’ Suns playing coach Craig Carley said.
‘‘He deserved the goal after a really good start to the season, and I think we probably deserved to win.
‘‘It was a very tough game as anticipated, but the boys played really well and I think we had the superior chances.’’
Despite not finding the net again during the east-section fixture, the Suns were able to rebound well out of their defensive end for much of the clash — thanks largely to the work of ex-Everton youth prospect Jordan Barrow on club debut.
‘‘We played Jordan at centre-back,’’ Carley said.
‘‘He’s a very good communicator and shored the defensive end up even more.
‘‘He’s a very, very good player, he reads the game so well and talks everyone around him through it.
‘‘He sees the longer options well too, and we’re very pleased to have him on board.’’
Away from home against tough opposition and without regular playmakers Jamie England (groin) and Cody Sellwood, the resilience the Suns showed to claim a tight victory is a promising sign for the campaign ahead.
‘‘The second half we were in control, I don’t think they had many chances — we really upped our game,’’ Carley said.
‘‘Hopefully it’s just a week off for Jamie, we’ll see how he goes this week at training.
‘‘To have two big stars out and come away with a win against a competitive performer like Eastern Lions was really pleasing.’’
The 1-0 win has Carley’s charges sitting fourth on the table in the east with a 2-1-1 record — only two points behind ladder leader Moreland City.
A round five away fixture against Melbourne City this weekend looms as decisive in assessing the true form of the Suns, as back-to-back wins on the road would set an outstanding platform for the year ahead.
‘‘Obviously we’ve got Melbourne City next week, so that will be another tough game,’’ Carley said.
‘‘We’ll be looking to get the three points against what is a young and promising side.
‘‘But I thoroughly believe that we can beat any team in the competition.’’