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Clarke strikes again as Kempsey Saints tame Coffs Coast Tigers

They have taken a bit of time to warm into the Coastal Premier League Men’s season, but Kempsey Saints are building some momentum.

Their surprise 1-0 win over Coffs Coast Tigers at Eden Street on Saturday was their most impressive performance to date.

Co-captain Evan Clarke found the back of the net on the stroke of half-time as Saints took their seventh point from an available nine in the last three weeks.

“It’s a bit of a confidence booster for the boys too because I put Coffs Tigers up there with Coffs Lions as the two best teams I think we’ve faced just in the way they play,” Clarke said after the match.

“To get a result against Tigers is pretty good and the boys are definitely feeling a bit more confident after that.”

The captain admitted Tigers controlled large portions of possession, but defensively Saints were rarely troubled.

“Immediately after the goal Coffs had a really good chance and we cleared it off the line but in the second half they didn’t really have any chances you would consider clear-cut,” he said.

“But they definitely controlled the game in terms of possession. “

Clarke can see positivity start to creep through the team over their last 270 minutes of football.

“We’re proving to ourselves we can win and to do it againts Coffs Tigers feels a bit like a turning point for us,” he said.

Saints face Northern Storm and Taree Wildcats over the next fortnight which Clarke felt could allow them to climb the ladder.

“I think we’ve got through a lot of the teams in the top half of the ladder already and we’re hoping we can try and get some more points in the second half of the first round and improve in the second round,” he said.

They also have a postponed home derby with Macleay Valley Rangers to squeeze into an already jam-packed schedule.

Most of the CPL men’s round was postponed with Coffs City Lions’ 3-1 win over Bellingen the only other fixture to go ahead.

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