A late strike from substitute forward Ben Folami has helped Melbourne Victory grind out a hard-fought 1-0 win over Macarthur FC.
In sapping conditions in front of a crowd of 3,312 at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday, Victory will have left Sydney's south-west feeling they deserved all three points.
The heroics of Macarthur goalkeeper Filip Kurto kept the home outfit in the game and Dwight Yorke's side breathed a sigh of relief when defender Tomislav Uskok was not penalised for a push on Folami in his own box.
But Folami struck with six minutes left to move his side up to fifth on the A-League Men ladder ahead of next week's derby with Melbourne City.
It was Macarthur, however, who began the brighter of the two sides with returning playmaker Ulises Davila causing Victory problems early on.
The Mexican was on the wrong end of some hearty challenges from the Victory midfield but the home side were able to find some opportunities down the right flank with winger Jed Drew.
The teenager had a couple of chances and combined well with Georgian striker Bachana Arabuli, who appeared to give his side the lead in the 26th minute only for his goal to be denied for off-side.
It was a warning shot that woke Victory from their slumber, with their coach Tony Popovic also becoming increasingly animated on the sideline.
Nani and Nick D'Agostino went close to giving the visitors the lead but neither could find the target as both sides trudged off scoreless at the half-time break.
D'Agostino called Kurto into action early in the second half before Davila had an effort cleared off the line by Jason Geria.
Popovic turned to his bench, sending talented forward Folami into the fray with little more than half an hour left and the 23-year-old got straight into the thick of things.
Twice he was played in on goal, Kurto stopping him the first time before a questionable push in the back from Uskok inside the Macarthur box led to some rowdy protests from Victory.
As it turned out, Melbourne didn't need it, with Folami breaking the deadlock after being played in by Nishan Velupillay in the 84th minute and sealing the win.