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Kempsey Saints 0-2 Port Saints

Sometimes it only takes one week to turn your season around.
Port Saints just wouldn’t have anticipated it would have happened in the opening round of the 2022 Coastal Premier League Men’s competition.
But since their opening-round 5-1 hammering at the hands of Bellingen, the Port Macquarie side have registered back-to-back wins.
Their latest came at Eden Street in Kempsey when utility Matt Hunt scored a second-half brace to lead them to a 2-0 win over Kempsey Saints.
It followed a 5-2 win over Macleay Valley Rangers.
Coach Oliver King has managed to reflect on the defeat to ‘Bello’ and labelled it as a kick in the pants they needed.
“I’m glad the boys have taken that Bellingen game and used it to screw their heads back on,” King said.
“It’s still a long season and two wins are not going to get us anywhere near where we want to finish at the end of the year.
“But the positive about that ‘Bello’ game was that it gave us a chance to work on getting ourselves back up towards the pointy end of the table.
“We think that’s where we should be.”
But the coach was still unimpressed with his side’s first 30 minutes in the Macleay where their touch let them down.
He attributed that to playing on the synthetic fields at Coffs Harbour in the opening rounds of the competition, but they warmed to the task.
“It was a very even contest, but we slowly grew into the game and played some of our better football. We finished really strongly.
“We needed someone to find the back of the net yesterday because I didn’t know where our goals were going to come from.”
Kempsey Saints co-coach Evan Clarke again lamented his side’s inability to put the ball in the back of the net.
“When I was contemplating the game and then looked at footage there were nine or 10 chances you’d consider clear-cut, but we just didn’t put them away,” he said.
“It’s not too concerning yet because I’m happy with how we played, but it’s just the finishing that’s let us down so far this season.
“There’s room for improvement, but it’s a longer season this season so maybe we’ve got a bit more time before we start hitting the panic button; we’re not just yet.”
Saints started their 2021 CPL campaign with a slower start to this campaign, but Clarke knows they need to start warming to their task.
“We started considerably worse last year and had a 7-2 loss to Rangers and a 5-1 to Boambee and a 5-0 or something to Coffs United and we managed to turn that around to some degree.
“We’re not having those sort of results just yet, but we’re not scoring goals.”
The focus will be on the front third at training this week ahead of Saturday’s Kempsey derby clash with Macleay Valley.
“We’ll get to training this week, prioritise that (attack) and hopefully our fortunates will turn,” Clarke said.

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