Melton Phoenix’s efforts are starting to earn rewards in FFV state league 5 west.

After a tough start to the year, the Phoenix players were showing good signs against some of the better teams – without getting the points.

But in the past month, the Phoenix has won two matches, had a draw against a top five side and one really poor performance.

Phoenix coach Mark Parnis said his players had been finding the scoresheet more regularly in recent weeks.

“That’s been important,” he said. “We should have won other games, but weren’t finding the back of the net enough. We had a good win against Melbourne Lions and a draw against Keilor Wolves, who are a fantastic side.”

After a poor last-up performance against Deakin Ducks, the Phoenix returned to the winners’ list on Saturday by defeating Maidstone United 3-1.

Parnis said 20 minutes of really good football was the difference.

“We match up really well with them,” he said. “They got a goal from a mistake early in the second half. We moved the ball quite well in windy conditions.

“We scored three goals in about 20 minutes … some really good work.”

Jason Hill, Connor Krizmanic and Alain Nzitunga were the scorers.

It was Nzitunga’s first game for the club.

The win moves the Phoenix to 10th on the ladder with a 3-2-5 record.

Despite the improved performances, Parnis is being cautious yet hopeful.

“We’re still building and it’s going to take the whole season,” he said.

“The club is getting stronger each week. We know where we sit and we are going to keep improving.”

In good signs for the Phoenix, younger players are stepping up in the reserves and displaying some useful form.

Parnis said the club was also going nicely off the field, with all involved heading in the same direction.

In other results, Westside Strikers had a 3-0 win against Barwon.

Jordan Borg, Bradley Cashion and Hayden Formosa were the goalscorers.

The win means the Strikers retain their spot at the top of the table, three points clear of Gisborne.

In state league 4 west, Spring Hills defeated Laverton 2-0. Rocky Calfapietra and Yonas Sisay were the goalscorers.

The Stallions are third, 10 points behind the ladder leaders.