It took a lion's share of the game but Napier City Rovers came from a goal down to claim their second victory from as many games, in Wellington, today.
The Thirsty Whale-sponsored Blues, who are the defending Ultra Football Central League champions and are momentarily on the top rung of the table tonight, beat Integration Works Waterside Karori 2-1 in round two of the winter competition.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game [because] they were quite an organised side [and] they caused us a few problems and got a goal quite early and then kind of tried to sit back and defend that," said Rovers coach Bill Robertson after the hosts went ahead in about the 13th minute from a through ball that caught the visitors' defence napping before goalkeeper Kyle Baxter couldn't thwart from the one-on-one with the goal scorer.
It wasn't until the 81st minute when Uruguayan import striker Martin Bueno equalised 1-1 from a penalty after substitute veteran striker Andrew Abba was fouled in the 18m box.
The winner from the Fergus Neil-captained side came in the 89th minute from rightback Jamie Wilkinson who volleyed the ball past the goalkeeper after latching on to a cross while he was retreating from a cornerkick.
Robertson said they had acknowledged at halftime the numerous chances his troops had created and that another day they would have put them away.
"But it's great character the boys have shown again to come from a 1-nil deficit to win the game," he said.
However, what made the victory even more special was the delayed kick-off, from 2.30pm to 3pm, after a car crash held up traffic for the Rovers on the way to Karori Park.
"All that sort of stuff takes a toll because we've been on the road for several hours before we got there so to deal with that and come away with three points is very pleasing."
Robertson said although a stiff wind dictated terms the Blues played better into it than when it was behind them. Although the visitors' faith was tested a little when they had a penalty shout for a foul on last season's golden boot, Bueno, turned down in the 69th minute.
"Martin worked the ball into the box and we felt he was impeded and when it was not given you start to think, "oh well, it's just not going to be our day' but the boys showed character to show what they believe in ... so I'm really pleased with their endeavour and the quality there to get those two goals."
He lauded all the substitutes, including ex-Rover Abba who has moved to the Bay with his partner because of her work after playing for Waitakere United in the summer national league, for their impetus.
"Young Zac Masden also came off the bench and had a great impact, actually."
Robertson said that augured well for winter because complacency in the squad wasn't an option due to the Park Island club's high aspirations.
The Rovers host Stop Out Sports Club at Bluewater Stadium in a 2pm kick-off on Sunday next week.
Stop Out drew with Miramar Rangers MCL at Hutt Park this afternoon to slip to the second rung on the league ladder.