Four goals, a clean sheet and some stellar individual performances — the Goulburn Valley Suns could not have asked for much more from their trip to Elcho Park on Saturday.
Taking on a strong North Geelong outfit on its home turf was always going to be a tough task for the Suns, but Craig Carley’s charges produced a statement victory to put their National Premier League Two season back on track.
The Suns scored early and often against the Warriors, putting two goals into the home side’s net within the first 21 minutes and following it up with two more in the second half to rubber-stamp the triumph.
But perhaps the most pleasing aspect for Carley was his side’s ability to keep a clean sheet against the Warriors for just the third time in eight league matches this season.
‘‘The emphasis has been that we need to keep more clean sheets,’’ Carley said.
‘‘I think we dominated from start to finish, the boys came to the game with the right mentality.
‘‘We spoke about work rate before the game and the boys were fantastic.
‘‘I was very, very pleased with the performance, and it shows what we can do when we play to our best ability.’’
Carley got the party started after he finished a through ball from further afield in the 17th minute before Jamie England showed he had recovered from recent injury troubles with a brace.
England headed home a set-piece play in the 21st minute to give the Suns full control of the contest and then repeated the dose in the 65th minute from a corner.
Cody Sellwood completed the showing five minutes later by strolling into an open goal after engineering a cheeky strip of the ball from within the Warriors’ goalkeeper’s grasp.
England, along with James Lelliott and Frankie Lagana, were impressive throughout the midfield, while Zach Balaburov and Robbie Rimmer continue to come along in leaps and bounds in terms of their development at the senior level.
‘‘All of the boys were tremendous,’’ Carley said.
‘‘I can’t fault the performance at all.’’
The Suns remain nine points behind east division ladder leader Dandenong City, but have moved up to sixth on the section’s table.
Carley’s troops take on Springvale White Eagles at McEwen Reserve on Saturday, but will be keeping one eye on FFA Cup results during the week as they await the upcoming round six draw to find out their next opponent.
‘‘The cup’s always a good distraction, it gives us a chance to see the boys in a few different positions,’’ Carley said.
‘‘But we want to go as far as we can, it’s great to play midweek under lights — especially at home — so hopefully we can draw another home game.’’
●The under-20 Goulburn Valley Suns have continued their solid run of form, drawing 1-1 with North Geelong on Saturday.
Stuart Vance’s charges have gone five matches without losing a contest, claiming three victories in that span.
Tom Kielty opened his account for the season with the Suns’ only goal at Elcho Park to help share the points with the Warriors.
The Suns will host an undefeated Springvale outfit this weekend.