Taree Wildcats have put some space between themselves and the Coastal Premier League cellar and now the focus is on climbing further up the ladder.
Jackson Witts, Sam Modderno and Trae Richardson all found the back of the net as the Wildcats moved four points clear of Sawtell with a 3-1 win at Omaru Park on Saturday.
The Wildcats have won three of their past five and now have Port Saints in their sights after the Port Macquarie side slumped to their second loss in three weeks.
They are five points clear of Ben Sedlen’s side and while there are only four matches of the season remaining, the Wildcats coach is aiming to chase them down too.
“We’re still optimistic we can get a few more wins in this competition and we’re a little bit closer to the guys above us now,” Sedlen said.
“We’re not trying to just stay ahead of Sawtell, we’re still trying to chase those guys down in front of us. There’s still four games left, so that’s 12 points and we’ve said all along we’re trying to build towards next year and finishing this season strongly.”
The addition of Modderno along with Dylan Murphy to the side after the first couple of games this season has resulted in the Wildcats’ gradual improvement.
They can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“I’m not saying they’ve done it on their own, but having that extra bit of quality with Sam and Dylan – and being settled with everyone else – is giving us an awful lot more going forward. When you score goals the game is an awful lot easier.”
Sedlen admitted their work off the ball on Saturday was just as impressive as their attack. That’s been one of the main changes since the start of the season.
“Defensively everyone’s working together and not making a mistake and hoping that someone else will bail them out of trouble,” Sedlen said.
“They’re all working hard as a team to get the ball back and push forward which is good.”
In other matches, Coffs Coast Tigers moved into third spot with a 5-3 win over Northern Storm in an eight-goal thriller while Boambee returned to their winning ways with a 3-2 victory over Port Saints.
Macleay Valley and Port United played out a scoreless draw while Kempsey Saints pushed Coffs City United all the way before the Lions emerged with a 3-2 win.