THEY left it late but Mooroolbark Mustangs showed how desperately they wanted a top-two position with a last-quarter comeback win over Donvale at Donvale Reserve on Saturday.
The Mustangs entered round four unbeaten and keen to prove themselves against the fourth-placed Vale as both sides look destined for the Eastern Football League division 2 finals.
But a four-goal-to-one third term looked to have doomed the Mustangs; instead, coach Brett Fisher and his senior players formed a pact to take the game and hold their unbeaten status, with the visitors kicking four goals to one in the final term to take victory.
Fisher said his side took the lead during extra time of the final term.
"At the end of the day the boys now have a belief in themselves," he said.
"Conditions were good for Donvale, who are a smaller team. We needed to make sure the boys had the belief and the given ammunition was that we could remain in the top two. That had to be a factor in their mindset and we made the boys aware of that then they responded.
"We cleared up that margin by the 10-minute mark then Donvale got lead back through a few behinds.
"We took our opportunities and got a few goals ahead.
"The margin might have looked comfortable but that game was well in the balance into the 22nd minute of the final term."
Half-back Evan Hocking was best on ground and Fisher referred to the player as the Mustangs' general for his ability to marshal and organise the side.
Midfielders Cam Linford, Mark Martin and Michael Smith were all prominent along with James McManus and James Charge.
Montrose also returned to the winners list with a 70-point win over Mulgrave while in division 1 Lilydale fell short against South Croydon.
In division 4, South Belgrave had a comfortable victory over Nunawading by 43 points with Robert Comfort and Lucas Appleby both kicking four goals. Brad Condor was named best player.