Daniel Araujo scored either side of half-time to hand Blacktown City FC its first win of the new National Premier Leagues season on Saturday.
Sutherland Sharks came to Lily’s Football Stadium also looking for its first victory of 2017 and the visitors made life difficult for Blacktown.
The home side typically dominated possession and goal-scoring opportunities, but were denied on several occasions by Sharks keeper Nathan Denham.
Araujo’s early strike was beaten away by Denham before Demons winger Mitch Mallia struck the post at the end of a dazzling solo run.
Midfielder Araujo did open the scoring on 41 minutes when he followed up a rebound from James Andrew’s blocked effort and drilled home a volley.
Blacktown started the second-half in control and it seemed a matter of time before its lead would be doubled.
It was the away side who struck next, however, when Tomohiro Kajiyama levelled the scores with a thumping strike past Tristan Prendergast in the 61st minute.
This spurred the home side on as Blacktown laid siege to Denham’s goal.
Coach Mark Crittenden had Araujo to thank for a deserved three points when his 76th minute volley crashed into the turf, looped over the stranded Denham tand nestled in the back of the net.
“I thought we were really good tonight,” Mr Crittenden said.
“We had so many chances to kill the game off and their goalkeeper was excellent.
“I’m really pleased with the intensity of the second half and if we can improve off our decision making in the final third we’re going to be hard to stop.”