NSW PREMIER LEAGUE
South Coast Wolves moved off the bottom rung of the NSW National Premier League ladder with a 2-0 win over St George on Sunday.
Continuing their resurgence under new coach Nahuel Arrarte, the Wolves scored twice in the opening half-hour to win for a third time in just over a week.
They needed a slice of fortune to get the game's opening goal at WIN Jubilee Oval when stand-in skipper Matthew Bailey's free-kick was headed in by the St George defence.
But there was no luck about their second after first-grade debutant Ben Zucco finished off a smooth passing movement through the South Coast midfield.
With a 2-0 lead going into the break, Arrarte made sure his side came out of the dressing rooms prepared for a Saints' onslaught and the hosts made several earlier changes to keep the Wolves under pressure.
A strong tailwind for the home side meant the points were never truly wrapped up during a nervous second half, but despite some signs of tired legs late in the piece, the Wolves held firm for another crucial win.
"It was one of those games where it wasn't a pretty win but we will take the three points," Arrarte said.
"A few of the guys played 120 minutes on Wednesday so there was a lot of guys there running out of juice towards the end.
"But we were able to hold on to a 2-0 lead after half-time which is one of the most dangerous scorelines."
Sunday's win means the Wolves have now won three of the four games Arrarte has been in charge, including Wednesday's marathon penalty shootout win over Sutherland.
It sees them jump over both the Saints and APIA Leichhardt on the table, nine rounds into the season.
But with two more crucial fixtures against Marconi and APIA in the coming weeks, Arrarte wasn't prepared to get carried away.
"From a morale perspective getting off the bottom of the table is good but the job is not done yet," he said.
"From our own perspective, there is a long way to go from a footballing point of view and from what Mike [assistant Michael Santalab] and I are expecting.
"But it is a step in the right direction."