Ballarat City produced its most “complete” performance of the season as it defeated Eastern Lions 4-0 in its National Premier League two west clash.
After a scoreless first half, City opened the scoring in the opening two minutes of the second half as Dom Swinton found the back of the net.
Goals followed at a consistent rate for the visitors as Charlie King converted after 61 minutes, Swinton delivered his second at the 79-minute mark before Dave King made it 4-0 in the dying stages.
Coach Danny Gnjidic was extremely pleased with the display, in a match he felt the side had on its terms for much of the day against the bottom side of the eastern conference. He described the performance as “complete” and “ruthless” as City continues to be one of the form sides of the competition.
“It was a fantastic result, our most complete performance,” Gnjidic said.
“When I define it as a complete performance, it really was. We defended really well...good in attack, good in possession and we defended pretty resolutely, we weren’t really troubled.
“Bar a 10-minute period before half-time, we controlled game.
“They were probably as ruthless as they’ve been.”
Ballarat City has now lost just two matches from its past 11 outings, not including the undecided result against Northcote City last week, where it trailed 3-0 before fog ended the match - a call on the outcome will be made early this week.
The great run of form sees City move into fourth position on the ladder, leading a pack of clubs chasing what is now a clear top three – Northcote City, Moreland Zebras and Moreland City – which are seven points ahead of Ballarat.
Gnjidic has long believed the group was capable of this type of soccer and the last three months, after a slow start to the year, is evidence of that.
“The stuff that the team is able to produce week after week, which is now about a 12-week period...the players are playing to level and getting the results that their ability suggests they should be getting.”
Highly-regarded recruit Courtney Austin got his best opportunity to show his capabilities, after starting on the bench in game one and an interrupted game two, and he did just that.
Gnjidic said he was “excellent” and gave the side an outlet on a number of attacking plays. Austin had a hand in the first three City goals and looks set to deliver on the promise of his immense talent.