ALTONA Magic comprehensively outplayed Western Suburbs for a 2-1 road win at Ralph Reserve in the Football Federation Victoria men's state league 1 on Saturday.
The Magic were stinging after the previous week's injury-time loss to league leader Port Melbourne Sharks and were hell-bent on a focused 90-minute showing after taking their eyes off the ball the game before.
Magic coach John Markovski said it was a more thorough and professional performance this time around.
"I don't think we played to our full potential the week before against Port Melbourne," he said. "We were a little bit flat. This week was much better. We were the better side by far and could've scored more."
The Magic were breathing a little uneasy at half-time with scores locked at nil-all.
They had done the bulk of the attacking and had nothing to show for their hard work on the scoreboard. The second half saw more of the same, but attacking midfielder Rini Muriqi found the back of the net to give the visitors the lead, finishing off a nicely worked team goal from the back.
In the space of 10 minutes, the Magic doubled their lead in a similar fashion, with striker Juso Julardzija scoring on the back of a sound team build-up. Suburbs halved the deficit from the penalty spot through Simon Kelly with 15 minutes to go, but the Magic would not be denied by a late goal.
They got to celebrate a vital three points that keeps them in arm's reach of the promotion places.
"It's always good to win and especially at their ground," Markovski said.
The midfield was the cornerstone of the Magic's victory.
Muriqi, Melvin Becket, Robbie Naumovski and Benjamin Vahid provided a constant flow of ball to the strikers.
Such was their command, goalkeeper Stefaan Sardelic was hardly called into action apart from a penalty which squeezed under his body.
The Magic have the luxury of facing winless and goal leaking bottom side Springvale White Eagles at Paisley Park Soccer Complex on Saturday, but Markovski fired a warning to his side.
"Anything can happen if you take them lightly," he said.
"We've got to go out and put the effort in for 90 minutes and the rewards will come."