It took 94 minutes in miserably cold conditions but it was worth the wait as Matt Thompson's second goal delivered the Maitland Magpies top spot on the Northern NSW NPL ladder and barring disaster, in the final two rounds, the competition premiership.
Fans and teammates piled on top of Thompson as he broke an agonising deadlock to give Maitland a 3-2 win against Valentine Phoenix and a two-point break on the competition.
Young and old shared in the celebrations, but no doubt Thompson's sage post-game advice will be heeded in the coming days "it's got us on top but we've still got two games to play".
Fittingly members of the 1969 premiership and grand final winning Magpies team and one of the club's founding fathers Harry Hetherington, who was honoured with life membership at a half-time ceremony, were on hand to see the next generation of Magpies create history.
Thompson and Ryan Clarke, the man who delivered him the ball for the winner, were the Magpies best along with right back Tommy Davies whose darting runs forward created all sorts of headaches for the Phoenix defence.
It was a fitting reward for the Thompson and Clarke who have been mainstays along with skipper and key defender Carl Thorton as the Magpies found their feet and then started to flex their muscles since winning promotion to the NPL in 2015.
"Matty Thompson is getting better each week, two goals today and one that was off-side. He is starting to get that match fitness back and is looking really good for us," Magpies coach Mick Bolch said.
"Thommo, Clarkey and Tommy Davies were out our best. Clarkey was full of running at the end and created so much.
"In the last five weeks we've been replacing Matty or Clarkey with 20 mintues to go and today they were the ones full of running."
Joel Wood, a member of the 2014 Division One grand final winning campaign, opened the scoring for Maitland on Saturday squaring the scores after Valentine took a 1-0 lead into the break.
Thompson said he was always confident of victory, but it was a tough game.
"I thought we deserved the win today, it wasn't pretty but we got i," he said.
"To be fair I thought even when they scored the second one it was just a matter of time before we got it. We just had to be there in the right spot at the right time and lucky enough we were.
"We'll enjoy the moment but there are two games to go. To be perfectly honest over the years we haven't always done too well against Adamstown.
"We've got to make sure we are fully switched on next week."
Bolch said the team now had to finish the job with wins in the final two games.
"It didn't matter whether it was pretty or ugly, the three points was all that counted," he said.
"That's five games in 13 days, three in the last six they've had a big run and that was a danger game as they beat Edgeworth last week and Magic only beat them with five minutes to go the week before.
"I couldn't be happier for them, they have worked so hard. You could see what it meant to them all at the end of the game."