Two second half goals proved the difference as Kempsey Saints’ first grade side started their season on a positive note with a 2-0 win over Wauchope on the road on Saturday.
It was the second time the two sides met in five days after Saints had earned a 2-1 win over Wauchope in the FFA Cup last Tuesday.
The opening 45-minutes saw both sides exchange chances but neither team created a clear cut opportunity.
A second half injury to Shae Bass forced a reshuffle and striker Liam King was injected into the game after he had scored four goals for Saints in reserve grade.
King continued his goal scoring form into the top grade as he broke the deadlock after beating a defender and finding the top right corner of Wauchope’s net.
Saints maintained the pressure and were rewarded with their second goal with 10-minutes to go in the contest.
Jamie Wright was on the end of a through ball down the left flank and cut back infield and extended Saints’ lead.
Saints controlled the rest of the game to ensure they would secure the three competition points in the opening round of the Football Mid North Coast Premier League competition.
Saints coaching coordinator Matt Baker was most impressed with the side’s composure.
“In years past, this would have been a game that we let slip or settled for a draw,” Baker said.
“To be able to go on with the job and get the win when things weren’t going our way says a lot about this side.”
Earlier in the day, Saints’ reserve grade side romped Wauchope in an 11-0 thumping.
Baker said both teams benefited from playing against weakened Wauchope sides as they were missing plenty of talent.
“They lined up with a very different side to the one we saw in the FFA Cup,” Baker said.
“They were missing a couple of quality players and that made a difference in both grades.
“Wauchope will be extremely difficult to beat a home this year.”
Kempsey Saints host Port United at Eden St Oval this Saturday.