Tauranga City United moved up to third place on the Lotto NFL Premiership table with a hard fought 2-1 home win over Bay Olympic at Links Avenue on Sunday afternoon.
Tauranga started the game brightly in damp conditions with Jerahl Hughes a constant threat on the left flank as per usual and midfielder Josh Nelson making some good touches.
It was Nelson who broke the deadlock after eight minutes when he finished well after a mistake by a Bay Olympic defender.
But the Auckland powerhouses who came into the game top of the table equalised after 25 minutes when Ben Billings' well hit shot was deflected into the Tauranga goal past the helpless Tom Pamment.
The highlight of the game and a contender for goal of the season came in the 33rd minute when striker Colm Kenny latched onto a loose clearance 25 metres out and sent a superb volley into the top left corner.
Bay Olympic upped the pace in the second spell as the weather deteriorated, dominating large periods of territory and laying siege to Pamment's goal. But the big keeper stood firm, making some fine saves with plenty of help from a resolute back four led by centre back Sam O'Regan.
Hughes led the occasional counter attack for Tauranga City but they spent most of the last 30 minutes holding out Bay Olympic in desperate defence. Hughes nearly scored with the final kick of the match before the referee's final whistle brought a loud roar of relief from the good sized crowd in attendance.
Tauranga City United 2 (Josh Nelson 8, Colm Kenny 33) Bay Olympic 1 (Ben Billings 25)