Jumbo Iyowuna (9') put home side Durham United FA into the lead on Friday night at Kinsmen Park, Pickering, but it was the men's leading goalscorer Jarek Whiteman (33', 57', 60') that replied with a hat-trick to help propel Vaughan Azzurri to a 4-2 win.
"[Jarek] is a reference point for us in regards to leadership on and off the field," commeted Vaughan head coach Carmine Isacco.
"He has adapted to every situation. We have lost our two targets, he has been moved to target and he has been fantastic. He finds ways to score goals, and his leadership is silent but it is obviously effective in the result oriented part of it."
A very tight match between two attacking sides was kept on a knife edge up to the hour mark, with Durham forcing an own goal from Vaughan at 55 minutes, but Whiteman's quality couldn't be contained for long and two goals in three minutes gave the Azzurri the edge.
"Jarek had never scored against us, and we pretty much had him in check in the past," said Durham head coach, Sanford Carabin.
"But today he broke out and all credit to him, he had a great game. His movement really frustrated our back-line and it is probably the first honest time I can tell you this year that our back-line had a bad game. We looked out of sorts at the back and you can say on a couple of the goals we just switched off. Part of that is due to Jarek's movement, it challenged them a lot. I like to see good guys play well, and he's a good guy and I give him credit, but today we just gave him too much space and his quality just punished us."
Jorgo Nika (83') scored late for Vaughan to confirm the result, and left Vaughan two points adrift of east division first place side, Woodbridge Strikers, and Durham in fourth spot in the east.
"[Woodbridge] are a good team," said Isacco.
"We've got a lot of tough games, they have a lot of tough games, all we have to concentrate on is every roll of the ball and see what happens. There are eighteen points left for us to get and I think they have seven games as well so we're going to see. We'll play every roll of the ball and see if things go our way."
"We have been [in fourth] for three years now!" said Durham's Carabin.
"It's going to be hard. We have a big pool of players but we have some guys going back to school, like every other team. I always say we are not quite there yet."
"I think today was a difference-maker. I think the team that was winning today was probably the team that could push Woodbridge, and that looks like it might be Vaughan. We're going to need a few things to happen to help us, so I wouldn't say it is in our hands. All we can do is go out and try and win the next game."
"We've always been able to do that, to bounce back from things. This one is going to sting a bit, and I know the senior guys in particular were really up for this game. When you take the lead twice, and then they claw you back and you end up losing, I just think near the end of the game we got out competed."
Durham United FA will next play Aurora FC on August 26 at St. Maximillion Kolbe HS, Aurora.
Vaughan Azzurri will next play FC London on August 22 at German Canadian Club, London.