THE Macleay Valley Rangers have managed to put some indifferent form behind them with a strong 4-2 victory against cross town rivals Kempsey Saints at Dangar Park on Saturday
As with previous clashes between the sides, intensity featured from the first whistle both on the pitch and from the sidelines where a vocal crowd made their presence felt.
Doubles to Josh Wilson and Sam Potter meant that the Rangers lead throughout the match, while Evan Clarke was the Saints only scorer.
Rangers coach, Peter Henry, said the first half pressure from his side was integral to the win.
“We started really well and put their defence under the pump, which was what lead to our first two goals,” he said.
“The intent was there right from the beginning and we were able to dominate for the first part of the match. It was a bit more even in the second half because they were playing much better.”
The home side was on the front foot early on in game as their attack combined to keep the ball in the Saints defensive half.
It didn’t take long to pay off with the Rangers hitting the lead through a Josh Wilson penalty.
They doubled their advantage soon after as a defensive mix up from the Saints left the door open for Sam Potter to get his first of the match.
Clarke eventually got the ball rolling for the Saints with a stunning long range strike only to have his attacking brilliance cancelled out by Potter who took advantage of another goal mouth scramble to hand his side a 3-1 advantage at half time.
The players had barely come back onto the field after the break when Clarke was in action again, scoring his second of the match to reduce the Rangers’ lead to a solitary goal.
Their task was made harder early in the second half as a bad tackle meant they were reduced to 10 men.
Despite having fewer players on the field, the Saints were still competitive but could not stop the Rangers from claiming victory as Josh Wilson’s second sealed the win.
Coach, Peter Henry, said there was no question about who their best player on the day was.
“Darren Morn was formidable throughout the game for us,” he said.
“He worked really hard for us and thoroughly deserved to be named player of the match. I thought our entire defence did a solid job in keeping the Saints out. I’m hoping that we can kick-start our season from this point.”