MELTON Phoenix has found the goalscoring touch to turn draws into wins after a 5-2 triumph against Melbourne City at MacPherson Park on Saturday.
But the three-goal margin doesn't reflect the tough contest Melton was in when the game was tied 2-2 with 20 minutes to go.
A second straight win has lifted the Phoenix to fifth on the FFV provisional league 3 north-west ladder with nine points, four off the promotion pace of second-placed Melbourne Tornado.
Michael Kapiris scored Melton's first two goals, one either side of half-time, but Melbourne City had an answer each time.
Chris Briggs then scored in the last 20 minutes to give Melton a 3-2 lead and when David Valenzuela converted a penalty after a Melbourne City red card for misconduct, the game was the Phoenix's for the keeping.
Melton had been more likely to score in the first half and Kapiris's first goal was the reward. But Melbourne City changed the game by bringing on an attacking substitute who netted both the visitors' goals.
"He [the sub] was strong, dispossessed our guys in midfield and ran through," Melton coach Danny Gnjidic said.
"It was a substantial substitution, credit to Melbourne City."
Gnjidic said his team had controlled the contest and did deserve to win the game.
"We were taking those opportunities ... in the first half we should have been further ahead.
"We haven't kept a clean sheet this season but this was the first time in general play our defence has been breached. All the other goals were from set pieces."
Gnjidic said running away with the game to win by three goals was not reflective of the contest offered up.
Melbourne City was reduced to 10 men when one of its players was third man in to a confrontation between a Melton player and Melbourne City goalkeeper who had jumped with a raised knee in catching a loose ball. The ball was live so the foul taking place in the penalty area meant a spot kick for the Phoenix in addition to the sending off for Melbourne City.
"We haven't had an easy game yet," Gnjidic said. "They've all been competitive up until the final minute."
Melton is away at last-placed Watsonia Heights this Saturday.
In women's State League 3 NW, Melton's women's team defeated Bulleen Lions 3-1 to climb to fourth on the ladder with nine points.