GVCA Wanganui Athletic Reserves finished their Horizons Premiership season on a high with rare back-to-back wins after they defeated Levin AFC 3-1 down at Donnelly Park on Saturday.
With coach Jason King taking a back seat to allow Matt Calvert to guide the side, Athletic came from 1-0 down to take the lead before halftime, and then put the match way with their third goal and a committed final 45 minutes.
The win lifted the Reserves to a 5-2-11 record and eighth place on the table after North End lost 4-2 to third placed Rovers in their catchup game.
King said while Levin's first goal was well-worked, it was against the run of play as Athletic looked to get on top of the home side who were blooding some talented youngsters.
They needed a reply quickly and got it when Sergio Serra beat two defenders and then made a fake shot to draw out the keeper, before going around his dive and putting away his sixth goal of the season.
"He's on fire now, three games in a row he's put them away," said King.
Coming back from the Devon Homes Wanganui Athletic 1sts, Zeb Small then put the Reserves ahead after a scramble in the goalmouth, despite calls of a handball somewhere during the exchange, to get his first goal of the season.
"Second half we come out the much stronger team, certainly moved the ball around," said King.
"We wanted it more, and that was echoed by their coach when we were shaking hands at the end of it," said King.
Cameron Mackintosh put them ahead 3-1, scoring off a beautiful left-foot shot into the top of the net, despite being a right-hander who often waits to transfer the ball to his dominant leg.
The win brought real satisfaction after a tough season, and King said it the squad regulars who lifted, because while Ollie Carter and Ryan Holden also came back from the 1sts, they did not exert major influence on the match.
"All the creative and attacking stuff was the same players."
The Reserves will now enter the Charity Plate competition at the semifinal stage this weekend at Wembley Park to conclude the season.
They will face clubmates the Athletic Weekenders in one 40-minute game in the morning, while Wanganui City Hammers take on Marist Celtic in the other match.
The two winners will meet in the afternoon as the curtain-raiser to the Charity Cup clash between the Athletic 1sts and cup holders The Big Orange Wanganui City.