Northcote City has kept its NPL survival hopes alive with a come from behind 2-1 win over ladder-leaders Bentleigh Greens at John Cain Memorial Park on Saturday.
Sitting two points behind Richmond SC with two games remaining, only a win would do for Northcote in their last home match of the season.
Leading goalscorer Braedyn Crowley tested Greens keeper Ryan Scott early on after getting in behind the defence, before Kamal Ibrahim shot narrowly over the bar for the visitors.
Heroics were required from Phil Petrovski with 11 minutes on the clock, making a stunning double save to twice deny Jack Webster from close range and keep it scoreless.
Crowley’s pace was a main outlet for City and after a quick break the striker cut inside on is favoured right boot and hit a dipping strike from 20 yards that Scott did well to palm away.
Three minutes before half time Ibrahim found himself in plenty of space inside the box but fluffed his shot as it seemed the sides would go into the break level.
That wasn’t to be as Webster bundled in a low cross deep into stoppage time to give Bentleigh a 1-0 lead.
Goran Lozanovski’s men came out with renewed vigour in the second half and were offered a route back into the match in the 51st minute with the referee awarding a penalty for handball in the box.
Crowley calmly dispatched the spot kick into the bottom corner to level things up.
Momentum swung towards the home side and after a period of sustained pressure on Bentleigh’s defence they found the go-ahead goal with 20 minutes remaining.
Marcus Duncan put a cross into the area, which Todd Norris headed to James Papadimitriou’s advantage and the striker did the rest, taking a touch before poking a deft finish into the far corner.
Northcote held on to register a vital victory which sees them leapfrog Richmond into the relegation playoff position, despite Richmond having a game in hand.