Hanwood has sent a strong message to the teams at the top of the table following a solid win over last season's champions.
Hanwood came away 3-0 winners against Leeton United at Hanwood Oval on Sunday afternoon, with a strong-second half securing the three points for the Griffith side.
Leeton were the stronger side to start the game, with quick strikers Henri and Fred Gardner sending a few half-chances wide after getting the best of the Hanwood defense.
But the Griffith side grew into the game and around the 20th minute mark a Leeton defender handballed in the box, gifting Hanwood striker Daniel Johnson a chance to put his side ahead from the spot.
Leeton keeper Jake Shelton saved the initial penalty but could only send the ball back into Johnson's path, who finished with ease to make it 1-0.
Leeton hit back on the front foot but couldn't manage to turn possession into any clear-cut chances for the rest of the half.
In the second half, Hanwood quickly put their first-half struggles behind them, with Daniel Rogato dancing past two defenders on the right wing to flash a ball across goal just a minute after kick off.
Hanwood's tricky feet proved impactful when a free kick was won on the right hand side of the field around the 55 minute mark.
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Joe Schirripa whipped the free kick into the box and left winger Chaise Donetto rose highest, heading the ball back across goal and into the net to put Hanwood 2-0 up.
Leeton pushed for a way back into the game for the next ten minutes, but Hanwood's victory was secured when midfielder Christopher Zappala picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and put a long range effort into the bottom corner.
Speaking after the game, Hanwood coach Brian Bertolin said he was happy with the improvement his side showed in the second half.
"Our first half we were pretty terrible, I actually felt a little bit embarassed to go in at half-time 1-0 up considering how well Leeton played in that first half," Bertolin said.
"But we settled down in the second half and started to play football and it was good to come away with the win."
Bertolin conceded that it was too early in the season to think too much about the result.
"It's only the third round in ... I think we found a little bit about ourselves and where we can improve but I don't think if I was Leeton I'd be too worried about it," he said.
Hanwood travel to Wagga next weekend to face the Tumut Eagles as they look to keep their perfect start to the season going.
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