Altona Magic is fast evolving into a contender in the National Premier League.
The newly promoted Magic is not content to be merely making up the numbers in their season in the top flight.
The Magic is one of the form teams of the competition, rising up to fourth on the ladder with 16 points from nine games.
A 4-1 demolition of Dandenong City on the road at the Frank Holohan Soccer Complex on Friday night was their second consecutive victory after an eye-catching 3-0 win over finals contenders Bentleigh Greens a week earlier.
Magic coach Goran Lozanovski is pleased with how his side responded after a hammering from Heidelberg United three weeks ago.
“We obviously had an average performance against Heidelberg, but backed up with a win against Bentleigh Greens and Dandy City, so it’s been a good couple of weeks,” he said.
Altona Magic came out breathing fire under lights against Dandenong City.
With a parochial home crowd and a host that was in a results rut, the Magic needed to set the tone and could not have asked for a better start than a goal from Michiel Hemmen after just two minutes.
The Magic’s lead was doubled on 13 minutes when captain Troy Ruthven scored from the penalty spot.
They held a comfortable a 3-0 advantage after just 31 minutes when Sami Nour tapped in for his second goal in as many weeks.
“It’s good to get yourself off to a good start and put yourself in a great position,” Lozanovski said.
“We probably should’ve even blown it out a bit more than we did.”
If there were any doubts for the Altona Magic, they evaporated after a fourth goal early in the second half to Ross Archibald.
It was an important goal for the Magic after star striker Hemmen succumbed to an ankle injury.
Hemmen is likely to miss the Magic’s FFA Cup clash with Box Hill United on Friday night at Paisley Park and could miss further games in the NPL.
Dandenong City trimmed the deficit through an impressive goal from Zac Thompson.
However, the Magic’s three points were under lock and key long before Thompson’s strike.
The key lesson from Altona Magic’s game is they can score goals and lots of them.
Their 20 goals so far is second only to the rampaging Avondale, which has scored an incredible 28.
However, Lozanovski is still yet to be convinced his side’s defence is functioning to its full potential, despite showing improved performances in the past two weeks.
“We’re heading in the right direction in an attacking sense,” he said.
“Defensively, we’re a little bit more sound the past couple of weeks, but generally we’re leaking more goals than what we want to.
“I think we’ve learned that the last couple of months and we need to be better at that and a little more consistent.”
Altona Magic has set its sights on a deep run in the FFA Cup.
The Magic was disappointed to fall short of the round of 32 last season and will be prioritising a win over Box Hill United.
“This year we want to go a step better,” Lozanovski said.
“It’s nice to either get a game in the cup at home or even travel interstate.
“It [a round of 32 appearance] puts the club on the map and gets us heading in the right direction.”
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