Box Hill United picked up their second straight NPL2 win in fine fashion, condemning promotion hopefuls Moreland City FC to a 2-1 defeat at Clifton Park.
Playing in all-whites on a chilly Saturday afternoon, Box Hill registered full points via second-half goals from debutant Vasili Tsoumpris and bustling midfielder Caleb Ludlow.
City halved the deficit through substitute Conor Rafferty.
In a first-half bereft of notable action early on, United’s frontman Dylan Tate looked particularly industrious down the left, floating in several hopeful crosses.
On 13 minutes, striker Apai Ukuno earned Moreland’s first corner through a deflected shot from inside the box, which was overhit and Box Hill cleared. Coty scored moments later, but it was ruled offside.
At the other end, United full-back Ryan Go craftily lobbed his shot, which crashed off the crossbar on 16 minutes.
After a scoreless first-half, Box Hill were initially under the cosh in the second-half. They were called into some last-ditch clearance on the back of successive Moreland corners.
But United turned the game on its head after debutant Tsoumpris’ introduction on 57 minutes. Having upped the intensity at the blink of an eye, the youngster hit a sumptuous half-volley home with his first touch of the game.
On 60 minutes, Ludlow’s determination doubled the lead, as he curled his effort over the opposition keeper Kieran McDowell’s head.
Moreland however pulled one back on 74 minutes. Rafferty slotted the ball past Luke Gavalas to set up a close contest in the final quarter of the game, but United held on for the win.
Box Hill starting XI: T Dekker, L Gavalas (GK), R Go, D Ilescu, N Kokolakis (J Siamoa 79’), T Lakic, A Le Page, C Ludlow, P Petreski ©, M Pochi (J Marangos 39’), D Tate (V Tsoumpris 57’)
Unused substitutions: N Edwards