It wasn't pretty, but Mitch Di Pietro's long-range goal helped Port Kembla clinch their first Premier League victory in 2020 on Sunday afternoon.
Di Pietro took a shot from out wide at Wetherall Park in the second half against the White Eagles, with the ball bursting through the hands of goalkeeper Blake Coad and into the back of the net.
The defender's strike proved the difference as Port Kembla secured a 1-0 win over Albion Park in a fiery clash to close out round four of this year's IPL competition.
It was also Di Pietro's first ever goal for the team.
"My head went down, I just thought there was no way this will go in. And the ball just rolled in," he said.
"But we were happy to get the win up, it was much needed for the boys. It was good to see everyone's spirits were lifted and we can go from there for next week. We were worked really hard and everyone dug deep."
My head went down, I just thought there was no way this will go in. And the ball just rolled in.Mitch Di Pietro
Players were greeted by cold and blustery conditions on Sunday afternoon.
It was a tough contest in the opening half, and both teams were left to rue some missed opportunities.
The White Eagles' best chance came via a Jordan Nikolovski corner, with the wind pushing the ball towards goals. However, goalkeeper Justin Mitrevski managed to parry the ball over the cross bar.
Port Kembla had a scoring opportunity on the stroke of half time, but Luke Boersma's long range shot swung well wide. The score remained 0-all at half time.
Albion Park had the first chance to score after the break, but Cameron Morgan's shot swung wide.
However, approaching the hour mark, it was Di Pietro who stepped up to deliver the telling blow for the home side.
Momentum was all with Port Kembla after that goal, with Tory Musumeci missing two great opportunities to find the back of the net.
Soon after, Port Kembla nearly managed to double their advantage. A nice cross by Di Pietro was parried by the goalkeeper, and a flying Brian Sumuto just couldn't connect with the ball.
Albion Park's best chance to score in the second half came through Morgan, who looked dangerous all game, but his sweetly timed shot swung wide of the goals.
Both teams continued to play attacking football late in the game, but Port Kembla held on for a 1-0 win.
It was the team's first victory since Steve Dimitrievski resigned as coach just days before the IPL season began last month.
"It hasn't been the best sort of situation for everyone, especially for the club. So the best thing we did was get a win up for the boys, all the club and all the supporters. It's good to see that everyone has picked up their game and lifted their spirits," he said.
"For the new coach coming, he doesn't exactly know anyone, but Robbie [Davies] is a good bloke. It just is what it is now, and we've got a win up and will go from there."
Wollongong United recorded a 2-0 victory over Corrimal on Sunday.
On Saturday, Tarrawanna clinched a 2-1 win over South Coast United while Cringila played out a 2-all draw with Coniston and Bulli had a 2-all draw with Olympic. Saturday's other IPL game between Bellambi and Woonona was washed out.