Lake Albert took a giant step towards cementing a return to the Pascoe Cup finals with a 3-2 win over Young on Sunday.
Jaiden Watson headed a Justin Curran corner into the back of the net to clinch the matchwinner and give Lake Albert an important victory at Rawlings Park.
The win keeps the Sharks in third place but more importantly, extends the buffer over fifth-placed Young to four points.
Young gained the early ascendency with a goal in the opening minutes but it was Lake Albert who had the better of the opening half.
An attacking Levi Hughes run and pass set up Matt Kliene for Lake Albert's first, before Jaiden Watson tapped in the Sharks' second to ensure they went into half-time 2-1 up.
Young were never about to give in and Rhys Lacey snared the equaliser when he scored off a Lions corner.
With the game going down to the wire, it was Watson who was able to break the deadlock, heading a Curran corner just passed the keeper to help the Sharks to victory.
Lake Albert co-coach Kyle Harrison was pleased to secure an all-important win over another finals contender.
"It's just good because it keeps us up there," Harrison said.
"You don't want to be at this part of the season now especially, you don't want to be dropping any games to the top sides.
"Young are obviously in the top five as well so it's good to get a win over them. The points are starting to get pretty tight up top so you need as many as you can get."
Harrison believes the early Young goal smacked his team into gear.
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"It was a good win in the end," he said.
"Once the goal was scored, that sort of kicked us into gear. The boys started playing some really good footy.
"We created multiple chances, we just couldn't bag them all but the creation is there, that's the main thing. Good ball playing so it was good."
Hughes again had a big impact for Lake Albert, in just his second game back from a lay-off, while Connor Hinchcliffe and Chris Durman were strong in defence.
Young lost no admirers with another spirited display but it was their third loss from their last four games. Patrick Hislop worked tirelessly for the Lions, while Jordan Osmond provided plenty of spark.
Pascoe Cup - round 11 results
Hanwood 6 d Tolland 0
Leeton 5 d Tumut 1
Henwood Park 3 d Wagga United 2
Lake Albert 3 d Young 2
South Wagga 8 d Cootamundra 0
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