ALTONA Magic hardly put a foot wrong in a 3-0 dismantling of Bulleen Lions in a Football Federation Victoria men's state league 1 encounter at Paisley Park last Saturday.
Asked if it was one of the club's best wins of the season, Magic coach John Markovski replied: "I'd say exactly that."
The Magic has breathed life into its promotion chances since the arrival of Markovski.
The former Socceroo inherited a team in danger of relegation and has turned its fortunes around.
The Magic are just eight points out of the top-two with two months of the season remaining.
Markovski said chatter on the training ground had turned to missed opportunities that might have further emboldened a promotion chase.
"I think there's a bit of talk there in saying, 'If we hadn't lost the other two games [against Werribee City and Whittlesea Ranges], maybe we would be a chance," he said.
"We're taking every hurdle one by one. Whatever happens after that will be a bonus."
The Magic had winners all over the park in their taming of the Lions, starting with the rock-solid glove work of custodian Stefaan Sardelic.
The back four of captain Sime Kovacevic, vice-captain Eddie Cetkin, Neven Antic and Alex Koltovski coolly negotiated any attacking moves.
The steadiness on the back end had a flow-on effect through the rest of the team.
"They did everything right from playing the ball to winning it back when they didn't have it," Markovski said of the team as a whole. "They were moving the ball well and it was hard for them [Bulleen]to get it off us."
The sharp ball movement had its rewards in the form of three goals. Juso Julardzija kicked off the Magic's scoring in the first half before new recruit Melvin Beckett netted a second before the break.
Beckett celebrated his lobbed one-on-one goal with a backflip that would have impressed Olympic gymnastic judges.
Rini Muriqi put the game out of reach when he found the back of the net in the second half.
At the time of his appointment, Markovski said improving training ground habits and general fitness was a must for the Magic to thrive in the division.
He can now find no fault in the work of his players on match days and at training.
"Tuesdays and Thursdays are really intense," he said. "They do work hard and I'm just happy its showing on game day. I'm really pleased for them."
The Magic comes face to face with undefeated top dogs Pascoe Vale on the road at Hosken Reserve on Saturday.