The Macleay Valley Rangers left it until late but they eventually reaped the rewards for a dominant performance and earned a 4-0 victory against Port Saints on Saturday.
The win continues Rangers’ perfect start to the season and lifts the side into third position on the table.
Macleay Valley were on top of the Saints throughout the opening 45-minutes but weren’t able to capitalise on their opportunities and went into the half-time break locked at nil-all.
However, the Rangers were finally on the board when Kurt Riordan scored the first of his three goals.
The striker kept his composure after latching onto a through ball and chipped the goal keeper to open the scoring.
Riordan fired two more passed the keeper to complete his hat-trick before Sam Applegate put the icing on the big win as he beat multiple defenders before firing into the back of the net.
Rangers coach Keith Morn was pleased his side maintained the momentum throughout the match.
“We created a lot of chances in the first half and despite not finding the back of the net the boys kept pressing forward and weren’t discouraged,” Morn said.
The Rangers have scored seven goals in their opening two games and kept two clean sheets.
They would be sitting in first position if it wasn’t for the three deducted competition points to start the season.
Port Saints’ coach Rubens Camejo spoke highly of the Rangers and expects them to be premiership contenders this season.
“MVR are the one team I hadn’t seen and it’s going to take a tremendously good team to beat them,” he said.
“They are fast, they are accurate and their shooting range is very good.
“They shoot from inside and outside the box, they have power and they’re physically strong.”
The Saints coach said his Kempsey counterparts were at a different level to his own side on Saturday.
“They play intelligent football and something to my mind approaches NPL level in the way they play,” he said.
“I come from Sydney and there aren’t too many sides that would shame this MVR team.”
A weakened Rangers side lost their FFA Cup match 4-3 against Wallis Lake on Sunday.