A BIRTHDAY hat-trick to Ryan Tucker has steered Murdoch University Melville (MUM) FC to a 4-3 win at home to Curtin University FC.
The full back added a late penalty to his two first half goals to secure all three points for the hosts in a hard-working display.
The win moved MUM FC up to 5th on the ladder, five points clear of Curtin with a game in hand.
The hosts started strongly and made it 1-0 early when Daniel Davey scored from close range, before Tucker stabbed home an in-swinging free kick soon after.
A slip from Adam Mangion in defence allowed Antony Russo to pull one back soon after, but a superb individual effort from Tucker restored the home side’s two-goal lead at half time.
Curtin began the second half brightly and put MUM FC’s defence under pressure early, which culminated in Owain Portman nodding home a free kick to make it 3-2.
They continued to pressure the host’s defence, while Christian Long and Matt Sljivic both missed good chances up the other end to put the result beyond doubt.
With just minutes remaining, Long was fouled in the box and Tucker stepped up to sweep home the resulting penalty and claim his hat-trick.
However, a late Russo strike pulled it back to 4-3 and set up a grandstand finish, although MUM FC were able to ride out the final waves of attack without incident.