Werribee City is trending up in the NPL Victoria 2 west.
The Bees are back at the top of the ladder after a narrow but comfortable 1-0 win over Whittlesea Ranges on their visit to Epping Stadium on Saturday.
Bees coach Sergio Sabbadini credited a real team effort for his side coming away with the full three points.
“We played really well as a team,” he said.
“It was really hard to give 3, 2, 1 because there were so many good players all over the park.
“The defenders were superb all day and they started all our attack for us, the midfielders won their battles and controlled the game and we set the strikers up a bit narrower to counter what they did and we scored a goal from it.
“It was a good all-round performance.”
Werribee City went through a rough patch in the middle of the season and coughed up top spot, but the dark clouds seem to have disappeared.
The turning point for the Bees was the arrival of July, when they ventured out to Bulleen on a cold Monday night.
While they came home empty handed, losing the game 2-1, the Bees seemed to regain their lost touch.
That has been evident in their two games since, which they have won both and taken back first place.
Sabbadini believes his players will have more of a steely resolve to defend top spot this time around.
“We were on top for a long time there and we sort of let it slip,” he said.
“Now we’re back there, I think the players realise what’s at stake.”
It was an easy day for Werribee City goalkeeper Nikola Kostandinoski against Whittlesea Ranges.
The Bees back four of Nick Bavcar, Sam McCall, Shaun Hodor and Julyan Collett were nigh on impenetrable.
“The keeper had to come out for a kick a few times, but no shots that he had to save,” Sabbadini said. “That’s always a good sign.”
Werribee City had total control of the midfield.
Captain Brad Murray, Jake Butler and Tyler James totally dictated the terms, ensuring the lion’s share of possession for their side.
“If you control the midfield, you will normally win the game,” Sabbadini said.
Liam Brian was the scorer of Werribee City’s tap-in winner, but Lisandro Paz was arguably the side’s best player. Paz played the final pass to the feet of Brian for his goal.
Paz’s influence across the 90 minutes was immense. “He did a lot of work both ways,” Sabbadini said. “He held the ball up for us when we needed it to be held up.”
Brian has scored six goals for Werribee City this season, including two in the past two matches.
“He’s a good goal scorer,” Sabbadini said.
“A bit of combination play led up to his goal.
“Brad passed it to Jake, Jake passed it through to Lisandro and Lisandro took a player on and squared it back for Liam for a tap in.
“It was a nice goal to watch.”
Werribee City will face one of its toughest tests of the second half of the season on Saturday when fourth-placed Moreland City visits Galvin Park from 2.30pm.
In men’s state league 2, Hoppers Crossing returned to the winners list with a 1-0 win over Western Suburbs.
Point Cook had a 1-1 draw with Craigieburn City in men’s state league 3, while Truganina Hornets went down 4-2 to Melbourne City in men’s state league 4.
In women’s state league 4, Point Cook took down Brunswick Zebras 2-0. West Point had a 3-3 draw with Barnstoneworth United.