ALTONA North had a touch of turbulence enroute to a 5-3 win over Albert Park in the Football Federation Victoria men's metropolitan league central division at Duane Reserve on Saturday.
North was brittle at the back and wasteful in attack despite feasting on five goals.
The locals wrapped up a highly sought-after three points but not in the manner captain Jimmy Naumovski was hoping for.
"We made too many uncharacteristic errors," he said.
"It's always disappointing when you're conceding goals."
The win ensures that North stays in the promotion hunt.
The third-placed team has formed a three-team leading pack with St Kilda and Manningham United.
Other sides in the division seem to be making up the numbers at this stage.
"This year it looks like it's going to come down to what we do against those two other teams," Naumovski said.
"We need to produce results against those teams and keep our run going."
North has strung together four consecutive wins.
The side had added motivation to do well against Albert Park, which pipped it for the title last season.
"We owed it to ourselves to beat them," Naumovski said. "It gave us a chance to close the gap on St Kilda, who had the bye [created by Moonee Valley Knights departure from the league]."
Experienced striker Josh Bondin was in the right place at the right times to knock in a double.
Strike partner Simon Guch netted twice with attacking midfielder Adam Whatmore rounding out the scoring.
Right back Matthew Aspiotis was the player of the match for his tireless work and kamikaze approach to every contest. "He gives 110 per cent effort for the 90 minutes," Naumovski said. "He puts his body on the line to win the hard ball, which sets the standard for the rest of the team."
North gets a chance to mount further pressure on the top two when it faces lowly Prahran at Duane Reserve on Saturday.
SL1: Werribee City 1 Altona Magic 0
SL2: Altona East Phoenix 1 Banyule City 1; Clifton Hill 4 Altona City 2
SL3: Yarraville 0 Sydenham Park 1; Sporting Whittlesea 1 Williamstown 1
PL1: Moreland United 0 Maribyrnong Greens 1
PL2: Laverton Park 0 Plenty Valley Lions 2
MML: Altona North 5 Albert Park 3