Matt Floro's first half brace propelled Port Kembla to a nervy 2-1 win over Albion Park White Eagles on Sunday.
The diminutive attacker put in a man-of-the-match display to help the defending premiers move to within one point of the top five.
Floro got the scoring started inside the opening half an hour in spectacular fashion from long range, when he was given space to fire a drive past Adam Rodriguez.
He then added his second with a glancing header from inside the box 40 minutes in.
The double was enough for Port to hold on for the points, much to the delight of coach Stuart Beedie.
"He [Floro] has got pace and could be a real top player in this league if he can stay clear of injuries," Beedie said.
"He has had a bit of a battle in the last little bit but his first goal was exception and his second, he can get those goals if you give him a bit of a sniff."
Floro's first half display might have given Port a deserved lead at the break but Albion Park came out of the blocks hungry for goals in the second stanza.
It took just three minutes for Chris Smith to peg one back for the visitors and ensure the second half would be a nervous one for Port.
Smith caught Port's back-four napping and placed a perfect side-footed shot past David Poeira.
White Eagles continued to pile on the pressure early but couldn't create another major chance.
The match quickly became a midfield struggle as players battled the strengthening breeze throughout the second half.
Finally in the final five minutes, the match came back to life.
Chances fell thick and fast at both ends of the pitch with Port's Mitchell Scazzeriello finding the crossbar with a looped header and multiple chances falling to Albion Park substitute Gadir Maarbani.
The White Eagles attacker drew a fine save from Poeira in stoppage time before curling a long range effort wide with the goal empty.
"I think losing a goal early in the second half we were always going to be under a bit of pressure for the remainder of the game," Beedie said.
"But to be fair to our players I felt most of the second half we created the better of the chances. We showed real character."
Elsewhere on Sunday, South Coast United defeated Cringila Lions 2-1 and Dapto Dandaloo Fury smashed Bellambi 5-1.