Point Cook was in desperate need of a little reassurance in the Football Federation Victoria men’s state league 3.
All signs were pointing up for the Jets over the summer as they impressed in the FFA Cup and had a positive pre-season campaign, but that form totally eluded them in a scratchy opening three rounds of the season, which yielded just one point and many more question marks.
A thumping 4-1 win over Craigieburn City in the fourth round at Aston Fields on Saturday was just the tonic the Reds needed.
Jets’ coach Craig Filer admitted that pressure was starting to mount during the slow start.
“It’s been very frustrating for everybody, not just me and the coaches, but the players as well,” he said.
“We had a really good positive pre-season, got into the fourth round of the FFA Cup and we were all singing from the same hymn sheet, but then the first game came we froze [a 3-1 loss to Upfield].
“We held Western Eagles to a nil-all draw, but played poorly there, then we were poor at Williamstown [losing 3-0] last Saturday.
“We needed that three points for everybody around the club.”
While there might have been panic from some sections of the club, Filer maintained faith in the processes that were bedded in.
There was no obvious change that could be made and his players could work no harder than they already were.
“We haven’t done anything different,” he said. “We’ve had to work hard as a group to keep the confidence up and keep it high.
“As I said to them in the changerooms, they just got back to playing the football that I know they can play.”
One noticeable difference to the make-up of Point Cook was the return of dynamic attacking player Chris Sutera.
Sutera provides an X-factor for the Jets that has proven to be irreplaceable in the early rounds.
“We were missing that dynamic person on the pitch who can create something and Chris does that,” Filer said.
“All of a sudden we have a midfield and a back four that got us through the pre-season and got us through the FFA Cup games.”
Sutera was one of Point Cook’s four goalscorers in the thrashing of Craigieburn City. Tinashe Mapindu, Jonathan Dunn and Zac Osborne also found the back of the net.
Filer was reluctant to pick out one or two individuals for praise.
“We didn’t have one passenger,” he said.
“It was a collective display from one to 11 and the boys who came off the substitutes bench worked hard.”
Point Cook’s attention will turn to the FFA Cup on Saturday, where it will square off with Doveton at Waratah Reserve.
In other results, Truganina Hornets suffered a shock 1-0 loss to Melbourne City in men’s state league 4.
Wyndham United produced its most competitive performance so far, losing 3-1 to Keilor Wolves in men’s state league 5.
United was -17 and without a goal in its previous three matches.
West Point was narrowly beaten 1-0 by high flying Ballarat.
Hoppers Crossing had a day to forget in women’s state league 1, losing 3-0 to Melbourne University. In women’s state league 4, Point Cook lost 2-0 to Avondale and West Point was hammered 4-0 by Castlemaine Goldfields.
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