The Forest Rangers remain undefeated and on top of the ladder after a thorough four goal to nil victory over Ballarat Red in round five of Ballarat and District Soccer Association’s Division One Open competition.
After leading one goal to nil in the first half, a spray at half-time prompted two quick goals from the Rangers in the opening six minutes of the second.
Rangers vice president and goalkeeper Travis Johns said it was a dominant performance.
“We dominated possession for pretty much all of the 90 minutes, created opportunities and the boys were rock solid in defence,” Johns said.
The win was all the more impressive with the club’s injury woes, which included four starting players.
Johns said with no bench, all players had to play the full 90 minutes but each pulled their weight.
He mentioned the makeshift defensive three as a standout, with captain Callum Best stepping up into centre of defence to cover the absence of Robert Esposito.
“Our defensive unit is made up of the youngest guys in the team and they are beating grown men, who have been playing the sport for a long time, quite easily,” Johns said.
Forest Rangers won the cup two years ago, and ended the season on top of the league ladder last year.
This year Johns said the club was after the “league, cup double”.
He attributed the club’s impressive progress and fast-tracked development of young players to coach and player Sam Muscat.
“He has been an absolute masterstroke,” Johns said.
“He is a bloke all the young guys look up to and he leads the way for us all.”
Johns said with the next four matches against second, third, fourth and fifth respectively, it was set to be a tough month for the Rangers.