Tim Stewart scored two goals for Tuggeranong against Canberra City yesterday. Photo: Graham Tidy
A BLISTERING five-goal second half helped Tuggeranong United stop the rot while compounding Canberra City's misery.
United kept its faint ACT premier league finals hopes alive with a 6-2 thrashing of City in a battle of two of the competition's strugglers at Kambah yesterday.
Mark Shields, Tim Stewart and Andrew Miscevich all fired home doubles as United snapped a five-game losing streak to leapfrog City into sixth on the table.
United's third win of the campaign moves it to within eight points of fourth-placed Canberra FC with 10 games left in the season.
And while a finals berth is a long way off, Tuggeranong coach Jeremy Butler believes his improving side has the attacking arsenal to charge home in the second half of the season.
''That's the kind of football we've been trying to play from the start of the season,'' Butler said.
''If we put 90 minutes like that together against any team, no-one will stop us.''
Shields gave the home side the perfect start with a sensational free-kick after 15 minutes, only for James Perry to equalise from a corner to level the scores at the break.
''The first half we were pretty sluggish,'' Butler said.
''The plan was to start ambushing everywhere, winning tackles, winning the second balls and competing.
''The boys said we wanted to stop the rot today and I think we did that.''
City's dreadful season has gone from bad to worse.
Matt Moore's side has dropped its past five games, and conceded a shocking 16 goals in the past three weeks.
The only bright side was the return of former Futsalroo Pat Ross-Magee from a serious knee injury.
Ross-Magee was injected off the bench for the final 25 minutes for his first game of the season.
''When you don't take your chances it can come back to haunt you,'' Moore said.
''You're going to start chasing the game and leave some holes at the back.
''To make the top four we need a lot more things to go right, but we'll keep working towards that goal.''
Canberra FC begins life under new coach Miro Trinic when it hosts league leaders Belconnen United at Deakin Stadium today.
Trinic takes the helm after Robbie Graham was was sacked after the club's 2-1 loss to minnows Monaro Panthers.
The Panthers play Cooma, while Woden Valley takes on Canberra Olympic.