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Clarke strikes twice as Saints move clear of CPL men’s cellar

Evan Clarke admits he got a bit lucky with two second-half goals as Kempsey Saints registered their first win of the Coastal Premier League Men’s campaign on Saturday.

Saints came from behind to outlast Sawtell 3-2 which allowed them to move four points clear of the CPL cellar.

Clarke acknowledged he expected a tough game from the Scorpions despite their lowly position on the ladder and that’s what he got.

The win was met with a sigh of relief from everyone associated with the Saints in what has been a difficult start to the season.

“It does feel like a turning point,” Clarke said.

“Even the draw a week before against Southern United you felt off the back of that we would start to pull together and try and turn the season around.

“It is a long season so I’m still optimistic.

“We’ve played five games and lost three of them, but teams will go through good patches and bad patches and I think we’ve just started with our bad patch.”

Saints struggled to break down a resolute Sawtell defence which saw Clarke take the team on his back.

“I just started having shots more or less,” he said.

“They (the shots) were both outside the box and we were struggling to get in behind so we had a bit of space in midfield and I thought maybe that’s where our goals would come from.

“Fortunately they did.”

Clarke said Sawtell’s lowly position didn’t reflect the way they play.

“They play a good style of football, but for whatever reason they just haven’t been getting those consistent results,” he said.

“Everytime I play them I think they are quite good, but they just struggle to score goals similar to us really.”

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