THREE goals should never be enough to win a game of football.
But it was for the Murray Bushrangers against Bendigo Pioneers at Echuca on Saturday when Mark Brown's side came out on top 3.22 (40) to 4.6 (30).
A combination of poor kicking for goal and a howling breeze meant the Bushrangers were never safe despite their midfield dominance.
Charlie Byrne drifted forward from his wing in the third quarter to kick the side's opening goal of the match.
The Albury youngster followed up at the 15-minute-mark of the final quarter before James Boyer kicked the sealer in the dying minutes.
"The wind contributed but saying that 3.22 is a bit extreme," Brown said.
"We just aren't taking our chances at the moment.
"We had 33 shots against Dandenong and 25 on Saturday which is pretty impressive.
"We's starting to get pretty close to where we think we are at.
"It was a tough day at the office but we got there in the end."
With Lachie Ash and Ben Kelly missing due to the national championships with Victoria Country and the Allies, the Bushrangers stepped up through their talented band on bottom-age players.
Byrne's two goals were telling in the conditions.
"Charlie was fantastic," Brown said.
"He had 17 touches and kicked two goals from a wing.
"His finish was probably the difference in the end.
"As a bottom-ager, he's starting to develop a body of work.
"I thought he played really well.
"His GPS numbers are through the roof and he's becoming a very good footballer."
In-form Jay Hillary was solid again in defence while Will Chandler picked up 15 possessions in attack and threatened to break the game open on several occasions.
"Will's really starting to find the footy and look dangerous," Brown said.
"He just didn't quite finish off his work on Saturday but it's coming together for him."
Zane Barzen, Jye Chalcraft, Harry Beasley and Will Christie also played major roles in the Bushrangers winning their third successive match.
The Bushrangers are preparing for their biggest challenge against ladder leader Eastern Ranges at Wangaratta's Norm Minns Oval on Saturday.
The league heavyweight will be at full strength with players returning from the national championships and school football.
"They will be as good as they are going to get and we're really looking forward to it," Brown said.
"They will have a stacked side with everyone back and we will find out exactly where we are at."