Buoyed by a successful Sunday afternoon at home that saw them claim three points for the first time in nearly two months, the Weston Workers Bears travelled to Lake Macquarie on a chilly Wednesday evening confident of building a streak.
Taking the field in their luminous yellow away strip, they would see this as an opportunity to close the gap between themselves and the finals contenders.
The first opportunity of the match came by way of a thirrd minute Aaron Niyonkuru corner which was flicked on by Cooper Buswell at the front post towards Jake Brownlow, who rose well but could only direct his header over the bar.
The Bears attackers were unable to apply the decisive touch to a dangerous Tommy Duggan inswinging cross in the fifth minute, but Anthony Richards' men were showing their intent early.
Moustafa Mohammad looked in the mood to make an impact, and his seventh minute attempt from an acute angle was kept out well by Blair Ryan, who was called upon to produce a low save with his foot.
A poor clearance in the ninth minute saw Duggan gifted possession thirty yards from goal and he decided to try his luck, but his attempt lacked the direction to trouble Ryan and ended harmlessly wide of the left post.
Mohammad, perhaps inspired by his own "worldie" on the weekend, opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a sumptuous strike from just outside the box that cleared the cobwebs from the top corner.
It was a strike that few keepers on earth would have gotten near, and the lead was nothing less than the Bears deserved having totally dominated the early exchanges in a period of football where their opponents had barely touched the ball.
A whipped corner from Chris Hurley in the 12th minute found the head of the rampaging Zac Sneddon at the front post, who very nearly produced a second goal only to be denied by a reaction close-range stop from Ryan. Duggan drove forward a minute later and unleashed a low strike just wide of the left post and Lakes were weathering heavy fire.
A front post header from Buswell off a wide Nathan Morris free kick in the 14th minute looped up high and nearly caused Ryan all sorts of problems, ultimately hitting the woodwork and falling to safety. Cooper Sargent's evening came to an early end the following minute with a hamstring injury, allowing Paul Sichalwe to enter the fray.
On another day, Weston may have been four or five up after just a quarter of an hour of football, and Lakes would have been counting themselves lucky to see a scoreboard reading only 1-0 and to still be in a position to contend for points.
An ugly challenge from John Majurovski in the 25th minute on Mohammad was inexplicably not deemed to be worth a card by the referee, and another poorly timed tackle of his a minute later was fortunate not to be punished.
Mohammad launched a spectacular half volley in the 27th minute but it lacked the requisite dip to trouble Ryan in the Lakes goal.
Buswell was lurking with intent and latched on to a Sam Kamper cross well to plant a header towards goal; Ryan was able to claim it with relative ease, and Buswell was ultimately ruled offside in any case.
An ambitious 30-yard half volley attempt from Duggan, after Ryan authoritatively punched clear a Hurley corner, was skewed well wide of the mark.
Sichalwe attempted to replicate his 'goal of the season' candidate earlier in the campaign with a thirty-yard rocket in the 40th minute, but on this occasion his effort failed to find the target.
The sides went to the sheds with the hosts having yet to muster a shot on goal and the visitors scratching their heads as to how the margin of their lead remained just a single goal.
The visitors started the second half looking to extend their lead, as Mohammad released Duggan in the 48th minute; the latter's side-footed strike along the deck was tipped away by a full stretch Ryan, before Niyonkuru fluffed his lines on the follow-up and blazed his strike well over the bar.
Lakes produced their first shot of the evening in the 50th minute as Tom Kowalski's relatively tame header was comfortably claimed by Weston keeper Jacob Zissis.
The hosts suddenly appeared to have captured some momentum and two minutes later, a floating cross was met well by skipper Campbell Ross who converted from close range at a tight angle to hand Lakes a barely comprehensible equaliser.
This seemed to give the Bears the kick up the rear they needed, and within two minutes they were back in the lead; Duggan's surging run saw his attempt parried away by Ryan, but with the goal essentially open, Hurley made no mistake from the follow-up.
Six minutes later, Hurley turned provider; his dangerous corner bobbled around in the box after Niyonkuru's deflected header ricocheted off the crossbar, with the impish Sneddon on hand to rifle home a powerful close-range strike into the roof of the net.
In what felt like the blink of an eye, the score had gone from 1-0 to 3-1 and the visitors were back on track to claim the spoils.
Any Bears supporter will well know, however, that these things are rarely a given and that the men from the Coalfields like to do things the hard way.
This would prove the case once more, as a deep cross to Majurovski in the 64th minute saw him nod the ball back inside for Ross to rifle the ball home and reduce the deficit to 3-2.
It was scarcely understandable that the margin could be so close at this point in the game, but to the Bears' credit, they remained undeterred by their brief period of defensive fragility and continued to push forward in numbers. Buswell got on the end of a Niyonkuru corner in the 65th minute but his header was cleared away by the Lakes defence, while Connor Heydon was introduced two minutes later for Brownlow as gaffer Richards looked to inject some fresh verve into the attack to seal the result.
Heydon nearly had one less than three minutes after his introduction, played through by Mohammad but pushing his low side-footed attempt just wide of the far post. It didn't take much longer for the visitors to extend their lead, however, as Hurley grabbed a second in the 71st minute courtesy of a kind deflection en route to the top corner.
At 4-2, it was difficult to see a way back into the contest for Lakes, whose attacking output over the course of the game was hardly reflective of the two goals they had registered.
Mohammed went close to a second in the 81st minute, forcing an excellent reaction save from Ryan at close range.
A superb through ball from Duggan to Heydon in the 84th minute saw the substitute make no mistake at the second time of asking, coolly converting to increase the margin to 5-2.
A galloping Mohammad was collected heavily by Ryan in a 50/50 challenge just outside the box in a strong coming together of bodies in the 88th minute and stayed down for some time with the wind knocked out of his sails, but he was able to return to the action.
There would be little more of note prior to the final whistle though, and a satisfied Bears outfit would go home with a crucial three points to put themselves back in the hunt for finals football.
A blockbuster Saturday afternoon fixture now looms as the Bears will travel to Cooks Square Park to take on high-flying Maitland in the latest instalment of 'El Clasicoal' as they look to avenge defeats in their last two outings against their coalfields foes.
They will carry form into this one and will certainly fancy themselves a strong chance of a result.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.