Altona City has caused a boilover with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over North Sunshine Eagles in the Football Federation Victoria men’s state league 1.
City football director Sam Borg believes there is no tougher away venue in the division than Larissa Reserve.
To come home with all three points was a day to savour for the Andy O’Dell-coached City.
“It was a smashing result for us,” Borg said.
“There’s no tougher trip in this league than going to North Sunshine.”
Altona City was quietly confident of executing a snatch-and-grab win, going into the game on the back of a season-opening win over Essendon Royals.
Even though North Sunshine is a totally different kettle of fish, a side that is tipped to be in contention at the end of the season, City believed it had what it took to win.
“We were well set up to start the season,” Borg said. “We just kept everything under wraps.
“Today’s result wasn’t a surprise at all for us.”
Altona City was played off the park in the first half. It went into half-time a goal down and was lucky the damage was not worse.
There was a feeling that North Sunshine was vulnerable in the second half because of an air of complacency.
Even Eagles coach Ben Isai conceded his side was not ruthless enough in the first half.
“I think North Sunshine felt like they had the three points before they stepped out today,” Borg said.
The second half turned in favour of Altona City. City benefited from an own goal and the sending off of North Sunshine playing president Besnik Kutleshi for his part in a melee.
With scores level and a man advantage, Altona City went for the jugular and found a winning goal through David Mwarabu.
“He’s a young boy who played at Sunbury last year,” Borg said. “He’s a very hard working midfielder.
“Andy [O’Dell] believed in him, put him in the team today and he got a just reward for his efforts.”
There were three standout performers for Altona City.
Ben Sardelic was best-on-ground for his showing in the midfield, Evan Christodoulou’s work rate was second to none and goalkeeper Griffin McMaster showed why he was once a shot-stopper for Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix in the A-League.
Altona City pay a visit to the Club Italia Sporting Club to face the Andrew Marth-coached Brimbank Stallions on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Yarraville Glory coughed up a goal advantage to lose 2-1 to Preston Lions in state league 1.
Altona East Phoenix is winless after two games in the state league 2 following a 3-0 loss to Westgate.
Williamstown picked up its first point of the season in a 2-2 draw with Sunbury United in state league 3.
In the NPL, Altona Magic is licking its wounds after copping a 4-1 belting from Heidelberg United.
It brought to an end the Magic’s three-game winning streak.
The seventh-placed Magic will face top-two side Bentleigh Greens at home on Saturday night.
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