Melbourne Knights supporters can finally breathe easy.
The Knights survived the National Premier League Victoria promotion-relegation play-off, but only just.
A pressure-relieving 3-2 victory over determined NPL2 side Dandenong City at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday was enough to keep the Knights in top-flight NPL next season, while consigning Dandenong City to another season in the second tier.
The Knights were in control for most of the game, but endured a tricky last three minutes and stoppage time.
A hat-trick from Kym Harris seemed to have the Knights coasting to victory. But nothing has gone smoothly for the Knights this season, so even that margin was never totally safe.
Harris scored in the 37th, 58th and 64th minutes to give the Knights a 3-0 lead, but Dandenong refused to yield and launched a stunning late comeback.
Dandenong captain Shaun Filipovic trimmed the deficit to two goals in the 87th minute, before James Kelly scored in the 89th to create a bit of tension for the more fancied Knights.
Thankfully for the Ben Surey captain-coached Knights, the final whistle came just in the nick of time.
They celebrated their top-flight survival with gusto.
In women’s NPL, Calder United came from behind to beat Alamein 2-1 in the final round at HA Smith Reserve on Saturday, but its bid for the Premiers Plate came up short after South Melbourne secured the honour with a 2-0 win over Geelong Galaxy United.
Defending champion Calder will head into the WNPL finals as the second-ranked team.