WILLIAMSTOWN thrived on a dramatic late winner from super sub Cameron Webb to sink Sunbury United 1-0 and make it back-to-back wins in the Football Federation Victoria men's state league3 north-west at JT Gray Reserve on Saturday.
The Blues called on Webb with scores at a stalemate in the second half and the towering young striker had an instant impact with the game's only goal.
Blues captain Nick Darbyshire was thrilled for Webb, a youngster who has risen up the ranks through sheer persistence and is biding his time with substitute appearances for the senior team.
"He came off the bench with 10 minutes to go in the game and after five minutes on the field cracked the winner," Darbyshire told the Weekly.
"He's a big young player with a pretty good touch. He's worked his way up from the second team to the firsts and now must be knocking on the door [for a starter's berth]."
The Blues were able to get the three points without star player-coach Michael Curcija.
Curcija, a former Socceroo and two-time championship-winning striker with South Melbourne in the old National Soccer League, missed the game to attend his brother's wedding.
The goal came against the flow of play after United had put the Blues on the back foot for much of the second half. Time and again, the Blues' defensive trio of Dion Portelli, Glen Fraser and Andrew Currie were on hand to repel the United attacks. "Those three at the back were rocks," Darbyshire said. "It was the first clean sheet for the club for a long time."
The Blues simply refused to concede defeat.
And they got their just rewards when Webb bobbed up out of the blue to score the winner.
"Our character really showed in the second half," Darbyshire said. "We probably weren't the better of the two teams, but we just kept on fighting."
The Blues have two wins from their first three games to sit among the top sides in the division.
The past two positive results have gone some way to erasing the pain of an opening round defeat where they lost after scoring the first two goals.
The new game style implemented by Curcija is starting to get traction in the form of victories.
"All preseason we worked on the way Michael has wanted us to play and that is to play the ball from the back," Darbyshire said. "It's starting to come together quite nicely."
Meanwhile, the youthful Blues have received a boost in experience with the signing of veteran Mark Burton. The 37-year-old attacking midfielder is one of the greats of New Zealand soccer, having been capped 28 times for the national team.