An outstanding first half set up a nail-biting 2-1 win for Murray United against North Geelong Warriors at La Trobe on Saturday.
Murray coach Elliot Jones claimed bragging rights against the club's former mentor James Coutts in an entertaining contest.
The hosts produced their best first half of the season and could have easily found themselves three or four ahead at the break.
Archie Thompson got on the end of a quality cross from Lewis Greenwood to put Murray ahead in the 26th minute.
Thompson hit the post 14 minutes in, Tom Youngs was denied three times by brilliant saves, while Josh Zito also had a great chance on goal.
North Geelong was flattered to be only trailing 1-0 at the break and came out on the attack in the second stanza.
Murray absorbed some early pressure and doubled their advantage when Thompson expertly lobbed the keeper with a piece of individual brilliance.
Chances were few and far between from that point on as North Geelong started to get on top.
A defensive mishap allowed Darius Madison to pounce on a loose ball in the box to bring the visitors back to 2-1 with 15 to play.
Murray's defence was under siege for the remainder of the match, clearing the ball of its line several times, but held firm to clinch a gutsy 2-1 win.
"The first 45 minutes was superb, we kind of went in at half-time and didn't know what to talk about," Jones said.
"Everything was working, everything we planned for was happening, but one thing we knew was they would come out in the second half really strongly.
"We needed to focus on playing, but I thought we fell away in the last 20 minutes on the ball."
Thompson has four goals from the past three games.
"He's been superb, he's strung together about 10 games in a row and that's what you get when you have continuity," Jones added.
"He was at training on Thursday and he's really invested this year.
"It's great for the crowd when Archie scores and the team gets up and about."
Coutts admitted it was somewhat strange to coaching against his old side, but felt the better team won.
"They outfought us, outplayed us and they were superb," Coutts said.
"Fair play to EJ, the way he set them up was excellent."
The ladder after round 16 is: Eastern Lions 33, Bulleen 30, Northcote City 26, Langwarrin 23, Manningham United 19, Goulburn Valley Suns 19, Murray United 19, Box Hill United 18, Springvale 16, Melbourne City 14.
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