Review: Saints and Rangers off and running as CPL splits in two

Travis Pascoe attached. Pic: Scott Calvin, Manning River Times

Port Saints and Macleay Valley Rangers have hit the ground running after the first week of the Coastal Premier League southern conference competition.

Both teams were last-start losers with Saints watching the premiers plate slip through their fingers in a 2-0 loss to Port United while Rangers were outclassed 4-1 by Coffs Coast Tigers.

Saints bounced back emphatically with a comprehensive 5-0 belting of Taree Wildcats on Saturday at the Taree Zone Field while Rangers held on for a 2-1 win over Port United.

Seven days after falling at the final hurdle to allow Coffs City United to take out the inaugural Coastal Premier League premiership, it was important for Saints to respond.

The misfiring Wildcats had no answers as Saints striker Roan Whiteman added another brace of goals to his season tally.

Travis Pascoe also found the back of the net twice while Michael Bishop also made a rare appearance on the scoresheet.

Saints coach Darrell Pascoe admitted he was confident his team had put the disappointment of the previous week behind them at Thursday night’s training session.

“The boys had a lot of laughs and enjoyed being around each other,” he said.

“It meant a fair bit the week before; when you lose something like that you’ve normally got a bit of time to get over it so I wasn’t sure how the boys would respond to that, having to get back up and play the week after.”

Taree coach Ben Sedlen lamented his side’s inability to score goals that has seen them find the back of the net just three times in 10 matches.

They have now not scored a goal in more than 10 hours.

“We just can’t score goals at the moment,” he said.

Momentary lapses in concentration have proven to be the Wildcats’ downfall all season.

“It’s been the same story all year; we’re missing that out-and-out goalscorer at the moment,” the coach said.

“You see them concede a goal and as soon as that happens, it’s almost as if they concede the game because they know they’re going to struggle to score.

“They find a way to beat themselves, unfortunately; we’re far from being a premiership-winning team at the moment, but we’re also not a wooden spoon team.”

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