Wollongong Olympic coach Rob Birkin believes his side’s decisive 2-0 win over Tarrawanna was even more dominant than it appeared on paper.
Needing a victory to keep the pressure on their title rivals, Olympic never shirked the task to claim the three points on home soil.
A stunning free kick from Shun Tokuno had the hosts in front midway through the first half before Yuseke Ueda finished the job with nine minutes remaining.
“It was a little bit more comfortable than the scoreline suggests,” Birkin said.
“We probably could have had three or four goals in the first 25 minutes but then in the first 20 minutes of the second half they had a heck of a lot of possession although they didn’t really trouble us too much.
“We are happy to get the three points against a top four side and hopefully we can keep the momentum going.”
Olympic piled the pressure on Tarrawanna earlier in the piece and got their reward in the 17th minute.
A foul just outside the box allowed Tokuno to get an opportunity and the Japanese talent expertly curled his free kick into the top corner.
It was his second stunning strike in as many matches. The advantage was one they’d carry into half time before the Blueys emerged from the sheds with added vigour.
But while the dominated possession to start the half, they struggled to find a way through the Illawarra Premier League’s best defence.
Olympic finished Tarrawanna off in the 81st minute from another set piece.
Haydyn Lloyd lobbed a cross to the back post where it was met by Ueda, whose headed was tipped onto the crossbar by Adam Rodriguez.
When the rebound fell, Ueda reacted quickly to seal Olympic’s fourth win from their past five matches.
Birkin thought his team’s fast start proved crucial in the success.
“We came out of the blocks very well and created some excellent chances,” he said.
“If you take the chances it could have been a really good win but we will take the three points.
“We scored a couple of goals of real quality as well.”
Olympic’s victory keeps them one point off ladder leaders Bulli, who were also successful on Saturday.
The IPL high-flyers battered cellar dwellers Picton Rangers 3-0 at Hume Oval.
Kemblawarra kept in touch with the leading pair and kept their title defence intact with a gritty 1-0 win over Woonona Sharks.
Port Kembla stayed in the top-five with a 3-0 win over South Coast United, Albion Park hammered Corrimal Rangers 6-0 and Wollongong United beat Cringila 4-2.