YOOGALI SC has shot to the top of the Billabong Cup table after easing past an undermanned Eastern Wanderers side yesterday at EW Moore Oval.
In-form attacker Joe Preece led the way by netting a hat-trick in the 4-1 victory, which was Yoogali's fifth on the trot in the local competition.
The reigning champions barely got out of first gear, taking lead through Preece after 10 minutes and keeping the pressure up across the entire first-half.
Preece added his second not long before half-time and finished off his haul with the pick of the lot, dribbling through a static Wanderers defence to slide the ball past goalkeeper Aaron Thomas and in off the upright.
YSC coach Sante Donadel said his side "did it comfortably".
"I don't think we pushed ourselves to the limit - we did what we had to do, and that was basically it," he said.
"It wasn't a great performance but it's hard to get motivated when you pass the ball around pretty easy and don't have to work too hard.
"In the last half-hour we were just going through the motions because we didn't have to do any better."
The Wanderers, however, were missing nine first-choice players - including striker Bai Fahnbulleh and big Sam Mangelsdorf, who were both among the Wagga side's best in last week's 5-1 loss to Hanwood.
Thomas was best on ground for the visitors, pulling off a string of remarkable saves that helped maintain a semblance of respectability to the scoreline.
But for all YSC's dominance, the Wanderers had plenty of their own chances, and could have been in the game had the likes of Kane Baumer, Chris Durman and Justin Curran held their mettle at the key moments.
It was 4-0 by the time the Eastern Wanderers got on the scoresheet - and even then, it was courtesy of a Luke Santolin own goal, after his attempted clearance of a Curran cross went horribly wrong.
"They were pretty slow," Donadel said of the Wanderers.
"Maybe it's fitness? I honestly don't know.
"I'm not too worried about them - just us.
"Their goalkeeper had a blinder though - easily, he made five saves that could have been goals.
"It could have been a bigger win but we'll take it and move on."
Asa Nicholson scored YSC's other goal, while a Luke Pandolfo attempt late on was chalked off for offside.