A strong second half saw Port Melbourne record a confidence boosting 2-1 win over Heidelberg United in Epping on Sunday.
Both teams fielded strong sides, as they battled hard in trying conditions.
Heidelberg struck first, courtesy of some neat interplay in the front third.
Shaun Kelly went close to responding almost immediately with a confident run down the middle of the park.
Port side came out on the front foot in the second interval and had a number of opportunities to reduce the deficit, via the head of Adrian Zahra and the boot of James Riccobene.
Eric Vassiliadis opted to provide some of his younger players with some game time midway through the half and they soon repaid his faith.
It was Zahra though who leveled proceedings with a free kick that bypassed everyone in the wall 15 minutes from time. A clumsy foul by Kenny Athiu in the area then gave David Stirton a chance to step up from the penalty spot and fire home to confirm the result.
The win maintains Port’s 100% record in its pre-season matches to date.
Heidelberg United 1-2 Port Melbourne
Starting XI: Gal, Karvelis, Riccobene, Kelly, Krommidas, Kearney, Mulcahy, Honos, Oppermann, Goodwin, Yalaz