Rangers in winning form for vital clash

Martin van Rooy beat the keeper one-on-one to score the Rangers’ second goal after the break.

Martin van Rooy beat the keeper one-on-one to score the Rangers’ second goal after the break.

FOUR wins in a row is the perfect base for Warrnambool Rangers to take into their top-of-the-table battle against Ballarat this weekend.

The Rangers accounted for fellow top-four side Vic Park on Saturday night, notching a 2-0 away win in difficult conditions.

Warrnambool captain Nick van Rooy said the Rangers would play back-to-back Ballarat and District Soccer Association away games. 

“We have a night game in Ballarat on Saturday night,” he said. “It’s our first Saturday game.

“We had too many unavailable for Sunday so we had to reschedule a home game at Ballarat.”

Nick said the Rangers avoided playing in rain on Sunday but ground conditions made it difficult.

“The pitch conditions were pretty average so we were very happy to come away with a good result, winning 2-0,” he said.

“Being a clay-based pitch, it was pretty difficult, a lot of slipping and sliding.” Nick said the Rangers’ defence was resolute against Vic Park.

The injured skipper, missing from their back half, tested out players in different positions.

“Matt van Rooy, Thomas Sheehan and Rhys Clapp did well and we threw our keeper (Cameron Pyke) into the mix for his first senior game on the field,” he said.

“Cameron added another body to the central back position. Our under 17s keeper Tom Pyers stepped up and had a clean sheet.”

Nick said he would revert to their usual set-up against ladder leader Ballarat this weekend but would experiment with the defence again before he returned from a leg injury.

Josh Bourke opened the Rangers’ account in the first half against Vic Park after he was on the end of a cross on the right wing.

Martin van Rooy beat the keeper one-on-one to score their second goal after the break.

“The game was hard-fought but in the opening 25 minutes we absolutely dominated them and we could have been two or three-nil up,” Nick said.

“The next 10 minutes swayed a little bit. In the second half we had control of the match.

“They had quick opportunities on the counter-attack because we were pushing for that second goal.” Dechlan Picken, Matt Van Rooy and Lee Sharples were the Rangers’ best. Nick said it was a positive day for the club, with its reserves producing a 4-1 win against Vic Park.

Warrnambool celebrated a 2-0 win against Forest in the women’s competition. Isabel Wilkinson and Victoria Vella were the Rangers’ goal scorers.

Warrnambool was too good for Vic Park in division two, winning 4-1.

The Rangers’ under 17s lost to Ballarat Red 2-1 and its under 15s had the bye.

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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