IT'S not often a 0-0 draw can be defined as thrilling, gripping and exciting all-in-one but that was the case for Saturday's top of the table Coastal Premier League fixture between Macleay Valley Rangers and Coffs City United Lions.
Optus Park played host to two competition heavy-weights and with a strong build up, both sides didn't disappoint as Rangers goalkeeper, John Clancy, put in one of the all-time shot stopping performances.
A constant swing of momentum best described the match as both sides looked to outdo each other.
The first fifteen minutes saw Rangers maintain the majority of possession and territory but they couldn't break the deadlock.
Clancy first entered the fray in the 22nd minute with a spectacular save, diving to his right to stop a shot destined for the top corner.
The rest of the first half saw things turn physical with Rangers handed two yellow cards as the intensity and weight of the contest threatened to reach boiling point.
Rangers managed to hold their nerve however as both sides went into half-time without troubling the scorers.
Coffs came out of the break firing off all cylinders whilst Rangers were yet to wake up.
Two shots and an air swing from the Lions in the first 10 minutes of the second-half silenced the vocal home crowd.
Rangers striker, Chad Applegate, helped the crowd find their voice again by firing off two attempts that just missed the mark.
From there, momentum began to swing both ways as Coffs and Rangers struggled to maintain a stranglehold on the match.
The 78th minute saw John Clancy make his mark, saving a Coffs shot at full stretch.
A strong run from Rangers two minutes later brought the crowd to their feet as Coffs put in a challenge just outside the box with calls for a red card.
The referee simply awarded a free kick, however the shot taken was anti-climatic, thundering into the feet of a Coffs wall.
Hearts were in mouths at the 87th minute as United made a dominant run which saw a chance handed to a Lions player just inside the box.
Silence lingered as the shot travelled in the air with a stunning full stretch save from Clancy saving Rangers as the crowd cheered with the referee blowing full-time minutes later.
Rangers coach, Chris Walker, was full of praise for his goalkeeper's performance.
"He pulled off some really good saves, we've kind of become used to that now - it's always great to have a keeper like that behind you and know that if you do have that lapse in concentration he's there to back you up," he told the Argus.
In other Rangers fixtures, the reserves side were unable to defeat a strong Coffs City United team going down 2-1.
The women's side continued their strong, dominant form with a 9-0 thrashing of the Upper Macleay Yowies, making them equal first with Port United.
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