Irvinestown Wanderers 1 Enniskillen Rangers 4

Enniskillen Rangers maintained their winning start to the defence of their Mercer League crown as they returned home from the Bawnacre with the points on Saturday.

Michael Kerr’s side had taken the lead through a Mark Cutler header but Wanderers went in at the break on level terms after Eoin McManus slotted home from a free kick.

However, the ‘Gers lifted their game after the interval and Cutler doubled their advantage before goals from a Jason Keenan free kick and Stuart Rainey sealed the points.

Kerr was pleased with the win and feels that teams will find the Bawnacre a difficult place to come to over the course of the season. “I would be delighted with the performance from start to finish as this is never an easy place to come to. Irvinestown are a good side and they will take points of sides,” he added.

It is the start of a run of league games that will see Rangers take on Beragh Swifts followed by Enniskillen Town and a Tummery side who have also won their three opening league encounters.

However, Kerr stresses that they will simply be taking it one game at a time.

“We are looking no further ahead than the Beragh game and this win should set us in good stead for that game. The boys are all pushing hard for places and we are looking forward to a run of games now,” stated Kerr.

Irvinestown boss Ryan Beacom admitted that Rangers deserved their win on the day but he felt that the scoreline was harsh on his side.

“Rangers are the best team in the league for a reason, they are well drilled and well organised, and they were deserving winners but I did feel that 4-1 was not a fair reflection on the game.

“We can though take a lot of positives from the game. We are starting to get back to full strength but for a few of the lads it was their first game at it will take them a while to settle in,” he stated.

Rangers began well and should have taken the lead through James Turley but he hit the side-netting after rounding Andrew Nevin in the Wanderers goal.

The opener though did come for Rangers when Neil Coulter’s diagonal ball was headed back across goal by Willie Burleigh and Cutler nodded into the net.

However, the home side were back on level terms before the break as Eoin McManus’ free kick found the back of the net after Joey Millar was fouled.

It was Rangers though who remained in the ascendancy and it required a good save by Nevin to deny Turley as it stayed 1-1 at the break.

The visitors did bag a second though when lively substitute Rainey cut the ball back and Cutler slotted home.

Rangers made it 3-1 on the hour mark as Keenan’s free kick took a slight nick of an Irvinestown head and flew into the top corner and they went on to wrap up the game with Rainey bagging number four. Cutler this time was provider as his cross found Rainey and he steered the ball home from 12 yards.