Eaglehawk coach Greg Thomas called on his players to lift and they responded in Sunday's Bendigo Amateur Soccer League clash with Golden City.
Frustrated with the Hawks' performance against Epsom the previous round, Thomas was wary of dropping points to the potent Rams.
He need not have worried as the reigning champions responded with a 5-1 win.
Golden City dominated possession in the first 20 minutes, but the game changed when Scottish import Craig Rennie opened the scoring for the Borough.
Thomas and veteran defender Brent Hamblin added two more goals in the space of three minutes before Rennie slotted home a penalty in the dying seconds of the first half.
Golden City's English import Abdirizak Hussein scored in the 76th minute, but Rennie found space late in the game to record his second hat-trick of the season and complete the 5-1 scoreline.
"To be honest I walked into the rooms at half-time and commended our boys on how well they played,'' Golden City coach Nathan Claridge said.
"Unfortunately, the scoreline was 4-0. For 20 to 30 minutes we held possession and we felt like we were the better team.
"Eaglehawk has that winning culture and it only takes one opportunity for them to pounce. You're never safe against Eaglehawk.
"They created four chances in the first half and scored four goals. They were clinical in front of goal.
"We had plenty of the ball, but couldn't create the potent chances they did."
The victory moved the Borough to 13 points - four points clear of nearest rival Strathdale, albeit Eaglehawk has played two extra games.
Golden City dropped to fifth spot on seven points.
Strathdale coach Jon Bryers is not getting carried away with the Blues' form.
After putting 13 goals past Shepparton last round, Strathdale scored another 12 against Colts United on Sunday.
The Blues won 12-1 and already have a stunning goal difference of plus 30.
"We'll get a better idea of how we're going in a few weeks time,'' Bryers said.
"We have a really tough stretch of games coming up."
Striker Daniel Purdy added another five goals to his name on Sunday.
He's scored 13 times in three games - which is more goals than Shepparton South, Shepparton United, La Trobe University, Colts United, Shepparton and Epsom have scored.
Jackson Clayton and Ethan Hunter scored two goals each for the Blues, while Sam Farr and David Cahill also found the back of the net.
Jordan Buckley scored from the penalty spot for Colts.
For the second week in a row Epsom stretched one of the power teams of the competition, but walked away empty handed. After losing 2-0 to Eaglehawk last week, the young Scorpions went down 3-2 to last year's runner-up Shepparton United.
A penalty to Roven Shaholli and goals to Ermal Marku and Fabrice Ebe ensured United got the three points.
Epsom's goals came via a penalty from September Kawmar and a fine individual effort from teenager Caleb Sanders.
Tatura proved too strong for La Trobe University, 3-1.
Tristan Zito opened the scoring for the visitors in the 20th minute before La Trobe tied things up through defender Ben Drechsler.
Jake McGowan's first goal of the season broke the deadlock before half-time, before Tatura sealed the points when susbstitute Kyle Minicozzi scored midway through the second half.
Next week - Strathdale v La Trobe University, Shepparton United v Golden City, Moama-Echuca v Shepparton South, Tatura v Eaglehawk. Epsom, Colts United and Shepparton have the bye.
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