A five minute period just after half-time proved the difference for the Rams in Sunday’s 3-2 victory against Norths in Maitland.
The hosts trailed 1-0 at the break but came out of the blocks firing with two quick goals in the Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League fixture, re-scheduled from round two.
Proceedings were soon level at 2-all, but Maitland’s match-winner came with 10 minutes remaining.
Rams coach Glen Stolk said he hoped this result would prove to be a defining moment in Maitland’s season.
“It’s always good to beat Norths,” Stolk said.
“We were lucky to only be 1-0 down at half-time actually. I had to challenge the guys when we came off to improve their effort and application.
“They responded, which was pleasing, and hopefully that helps us build a bit of self belief and momentum because we’ve been a bit up and down so far this season.”
Wade Harry, Ryan Lange and Rob Duguid all found the back of the net for the Rams. Rory Walker and Nick Hill converted for Norths.
Maitland now move alongside Norths on the overall standings in a three-way share of second spot.
In the other catch-up game played on Sunday and doubles to both Ben Jurd and Nathan Hinton have helped Wests take the interim competition lead following a 6-2 triumph over The Entrance at Central Coast Hockey Park.
On the ladder Wests jump one ahead of defending champions Gosford, who meet Souths twice in the space of a week starting with Thursday’s deferred match from round one
LADDER: Wests 9; Gosford*, Norths, Maitland 8; Souths 5*; The Entrance 2; University 0.
*Game in hand