It wasn't a game anyone would put in a time capsule, but Turvey Park emerged with a one point win which ticked plenty of important boxes against Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes on Saturday.
Since coach Michael Mazzocchi took over last year, the Bulldogs haven't managed to come from behind to win.
After conceding the first three goals at Mangoplah Sportsground and then closing to within eight points at quarter time, Turvey Park conceded the first two goals of the second quarter to trail by 20 points.
That was reduced to seven points at the major break, and scores were level at three quarter time, before both sides scored just one last quarter goal apiece after squandering chances.
But in the end the Bulldogs did enough to prevail and move to 5-3 in fourth spot, a game plus percentage clear of the Goannas.
Not only did they come from behind, it was their first win for some time at Mangoplah and their first top five scalp this season.
Turvey Park has beaten up on the lower ranked teams but fallen short in tight games against better quality opposition, and the result will give then belief for the back end of the season.
Already missing a number of key players, MCUE were hit hard by the late withdrawals of co-captain Nick Collins and full forward Trent Castles through illness.
Ruckman Shaun Allan, Stephen Camp and Ben Lewington were also late withdrawals for the Bulldogs.
Mazzocchi wasn't satisfied overall with his side's display, but knows the win was vital to prove they can dig deep when required.
"I was actually really disappointed with how we played today, but happy we got the win," he said.
"Under me I don't think we've come from behind to win a game. I don't reckon we've won at Mangoplah for years and this is the first time this year we've beaten a top five side.
"We did that and still didn't play a lot of good footy, so there's plenty of upside in our group.
"I'd be more concerned if we were flying and only winning games by a point."
Mazzocchi said they made life difficult for themselves in the initial stages, allowing the Goannas to build an early lead.
"We were really poor early, we let Mango get away with the first three goals and fought our way back into the contest," he said.
"We were poor again early in the second, and they kicked a couple in a row. Mango would say the same thing, it wasn't a great spectacle in perfect conditions.
"We let ourselves down with a bit of poor skill level and that could just becoming off a break. Mango had two byes, we've had a bye, you train heavier and load up over the byes, but our blokes looked a bit flat and maybe lacked some match fitness with fumbles.
"But we did enough to get the job done. It could have gone either way and we wasted some opportunities in the last quarter I thought could have cost us, but we were good enough to win."
Mazzochi said the final kick inside 50 hurt them constantly, but praised MCUE's defence for their ability to hold firm for most of the game.
"We lost some players but our forward line was unaffected," he said.
"They had no impact because we butchered our delivery coming in. We had a good enough forward line to kick 100 points, but the way the game unfolded we couldn't do it.
"But that's also credit to Mango's defence, they were really good, set up well and rebounded really hard.
"It was good to show our depth, to lose three of our better players and we were able to hold up. Mango likewise, Collins and Castles didn't play so they were missing some good ones too."
Mazzochi said Allan could have played at a pinch in what would would have been his return from a month out with a hamstring injury.
Camp (illness) will also return for next week's home clash with Collingullie-Glenfield Park.
TURVEY PARK 3.0 5.4 9.6 10.10 (70) def MCUE 4.2 6.5 9.6 10.9 (69)
Goals: Turvey Park - Lachlan Leary 2, Corey Baxter 2, Baxter Wallett, Will Ashcroft, Jack Glanvill, (three goals not specified); MCUE - Isaac Damme 2, Harry Collins, Padric Griffin, Brayden Ambler, Jonathan Male, Tom Keogh, Wesley Clark, Flynn Collins, Connor Quade
Best: Turvey Park - Jesse Margosis, Jack Glanvill, Ethan Weidemann, Lachlan Leary, Lachlan McRae, Jack Haggar; MCUE - Harry Collins, Douglas Arthur, Jonathan Male, Brayden Ambler, Jake Whitley, Ryan Turnbull
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.