Kempsey Saints have managed to do what Taree Wildcats still need to do – learn how to win.
A much-improved Taree Wildcats pushed Saints all the way in their Coastal Premier League Men’s fixture on Saturday before the Kempsey side emerged 4-2.
Saints have now won three of their last four to move into sixth spot on the ladder having won three of their last four fixtures after they had registered just the one win in the opening four rounds.
“I don’t know what it was early days, it was like we had to remember how to win again,” Saints co-coach Evan Clarke said.
“We were struggling to get the results and I don’t think our performances in the first three games we lost were all that bad compared to the performances in the games we’ve won.
“It’s the way it goes sometimes, but it’s been a good little run for us the last four games and we’re keen to keep it going.”
Clarke, co-coach Dan Baker, striker Cedric Blodorn and defender Corey Crotty all found the back of the net for Saints in a performance which wasn’t their best.
“Any win is a good win in my eyes and we’ll take a bit of comfort out of it knowing we can win when we’re not at our best, that’s for sure,” Clarke said.
“It was a bit of a frustrating performance from our point of view and we struggled to put the game away at times.”
Other teams in the competition still have catch-up matches to play which will impact on the ladder, but Clarke is happy with where his side currently sit.
“A lot of other teams have games in hand, but it’s always good to have points on the board that’s for sure,” he said.
“I’d much rather have points on the board than a catch-up game.”
Wildcats coach Shannon Hall was impressed with his side’s performance in their first match since a 10-0defeat at the hands of Coffs City United on May 7.
They went down 2-0 early, but fought their way back into the contest.
“In previous weeks with a younger team and less experienced players we would have gone to water, but the boys stuck it out,” he said.
“We got back to 2-1, 3-1, 3-2 and then conceded late just trying to get the equaliser.”
Hall said the battle now for his side was mentally rather than any physical challenge.
“The boys now know they can compete,” he said.
“Kempsey beat Coffs Tigers not long ago and they’re one of the better teams in the comp, so it’s now about self-belief than anything else.
“For the first time this year we put out a full-strength team and were only one short to what we would normally have. Just a couple of defensive lapses let us down.”
Cassidy Veitch and Ricky Campbell found the back of the net for Taree.