WARRNAMBOOL Rangers coach Nick van Rooy says his side’s 10th consecutive win gives it serious momentum heading into Ballarat and District Soccer Association finals next month.
The Rangers upset top side Ballarat Red Devils 3-0 at Morshead Park on Sunday, stamping themselves as the side to watch in September.
The Rangers are the only side to defeat the ladder-leading Red Devils this season, with the emphatic result its second win against the defending premier in 2014.
Van Rooy’s men sit second on the ladder, two points behind the Red Devils with three matches to play.
“We need someone to beat them,” van Rooy said.
“If no one else beats them we won’t get there (top).”
Van Rooy said his side was keen to repeat last year’s minor premiership.
“It would be nice to finish on top, it would give us a bit of an edge in the finals. The minor premiership is something nice.”
But van Rooy knows it’s not a guarantee for overall success. The Rangers, after winning the title in 2012, finished on top last year but were bundled out of the finals race with consecutive losses.
Van Rooy said the Rangers were delighted with Sunday’s win, set up by goals to Lee Sharples in the 15-minute mark and a 30-metre cannonball from Dechlan Picken in the 60th minute that found the back of the net.
Two minutes later, Marty van Rooy sealed the result with a goal from a scrap following a corner.
“We are taking it as a good win,” van Rooy said.
“It’s great to take the momentum, we haven’t had a loss for 10 weeks now.”
The Rangers were without Ahmed Ebeid while the Red Devils were missing two of their regular starters.
But van Rooy said the Rangers’ ability to get the win underlined their depth with under 17 player Isaac Slater starting up front in Ebeid’s absence.
Van Rooy said Slater was impressive along with division two defender Aidan Fawkes, who backed up a full game in the earlier game, with an important job at right-back late in the match after centre-back Matt van Rooy suffered an injury and was forced from the pitch.
Meanwhile, Castlemaine secured just its second win for the year for the season with an upset win over third-placed Vic Park.
In arguably the biggest surprise of the season to date, it was the Goldfields town that proved too good for Vic Park, winning 2-1.
Paul Hovius and Hugh Feary both found the back of the net for Castlemaine in the victory, their first since round five.
In the women’s division one competition, Sebastopol Blue came close to securing its first win for the season, squaring off in a 2-2 draw with third-placed Forest Rangers.
It was Blue’s second point for the season, having only drawn one match for the year; their first game of the season against Vic Park.
In other women’s games, North United White defeated Warrnambool 4-0, while Chloe Cameron scored four and Jessica Dart collected a hat trick in North United Black’s 7-1 rout over Vic Park.