By ADEM SARICAOGLU
WERRIBEE City’s strong start as a top flight Victorian soccer club continued on Saturday night with an impressive 4-3 road win against fellow National Premier Leagues newcomers, the Goulburn Valley Suns.
The Suns were winless coming into the round five clash but the 2-2 Bees still had a formidable task on their hands, making the two-and-a-half-hour trip up the highway for the Easter Saturday fixture.
In a match that ultimately saw seven goals make their way through to the back of the net, City’s Anthony Ragusa opened the account with a strike 14 minutes into the contest.
Then, an own-goal that last came off City’s Steven Cudrig levelled the ledger at 1-1 seven minutes later.
Despite that setback, the Bees ran riot for the remainder of the opening half and added three more goals to their tally through Zois Galanopoulos, Ryan Filipovic and Oliver Rowland.
Coming into the second half 4-1 up, Werribee City slowed down to allow the Suns back into the contest.
A goal in the 52nd minute to Craig Carley pegged it back to 4-2 before former Melbourne Victory man Kristian Sarkies converted a 76th-minute penalty to set up a thrilling finish at McEwan Reserve in Shepparton.
However, the Bees were able to hold on for their third win from five starts, catapulting them into the top six ahead of this Saturday’s away clash with Northcote City.
Coach Nino Ragusa was pleased that his side got the three points it came for, but remained disappointed with the second half fadeout.
“The result is excellent, that’s exactly what we went up there for and we prepared for it very well but the actual performance was a bit Jekyll and Hyde, so to speak,” he said.
“We had a good first half and then in the second half, we pretty much went to sleep but credit to them, they really came after us.
“They didn’t throw the towel in and they really came at us.”
Ragusa down-played his side’s promising start to the year, reminding his boys much remains to be learned as the season wears on.
“To be honest I wouldn’t say they’ve completely adapted to the top league,” Ragusa said.
“I think they’ve still got to learn a lot of things. For example (Saturday) night 4-1 up at half-time, they should be really able to one, control the game and two, actually bury them even further because defensively (Goulburn Valley) are quite poor.
“But to be with three wins, I’m ecstatic and I think honestly we’re travelling a little bit beyond ourselves at the moment.”