Point Cook waited patiently for its time to strike in a 2-0 win over Melton Phoenix in the Football Federation Victoria men’s state league 4 at Saltwater Reserve on Saturday.
The Jets knew their low-ranked opponents would sit men behind the ball and make it difficult for them to score, so it was imperative that they used the full width of the field with their play, stretched the defence as wide as possible and just waited for an opening.
It eventually came, but only after one of the Jets best team goals of the season, finished off by Jonathan Dunn.
“Our first goal was 13 passes,” Jets coach Craig Filer said. “From our goalkeeper to the back of the net, the ball never left the floor.
“We said to the guys before the game, we have to be patient today, we’re going to have to be controlled in what we do.
“They were fighting for their lives, they put men behind the ball and made life difficult for us, so it took us time to break them down, but we eventually did late in the first half.”
Melton, the bottom team on the ladder, has been prone to suffering big losses this season.
But the Phoenix refused to crumble and stuck to their task for the full 90 minutes.
Point Cook would find an insurance goal in the second half through substitute Kyle Caruana.
Caruana was a victim of Filer’s decision to shake up the starting line-up, but his work off the bench was a message to his coach that he wants to be reinstated.
“He probably won’t like me saying this, but he’s becoming a bit of a super sub for us,” Filer said. “I just felt we needed to change things up a bit today and I know with Kyle, you bring him on with fresh legs and he causes havoc.
“He was disappointed before the game, he spoke to me and I gave him my views, and I said when you get your opportunity, go on and take it, and he did.”
Point Cook enjoyed a clean sheet for the first time in six games. It was only the Jets’ fourth of the season.
Goalkeeper Daniel Dubovsky was outstanding for the Jets, while defenders Michael Nguyen, Mark Saric, Jamie Magro and Sam Williams-Green handled everything that came their way.
Saric, a new recruit two weeks ago, has added steel to the Jets last line.
“He looks as if he’s been there all season,” Filer said.
Point Cook remains second on the ladder, two points back from Sebastopol Vikings.
Instead of contemplating what could be for the Jets this season, Filer is preferring to focus on the here and now, which is a local derby against Truganina Hornets in a fortnight at Arndell Park Reserve.
“I’ve learnt from last year, you don’t get too carried away with things,” Filer said. “We’re taking it one game as it comes.”