Strule United 0 Enniskillen Rangers 3

Jason Keenan bagged a hat-trick as Enniskillen Rangers moved to the top of the Mercer League table following Saturday’s 3-0 win away to Strule United.

Gers boss Michael Kerr felt his side were comfortable throughout the game and thought that they should have won the game by a greater margin.

“It was comfortable and the only disappointing thing for us was that we didn’t score more goals as we had a couple of very good chances that we didn’t take,” said Kerr, who was pleased to see his side move into pole position in the table.

“It’s still early days, I think we are half way through the league, but it is nice to be top. This time last year Kesh were top and I said then that it is better to have the points in the bag than games in hand,” he explained.

Rangers moved top thanks to Irvinestown’s defeat of Killen while challengers Tummery Athletic also dropped points on Saturday. However, Kerr says that they are not looking at any other results other than their own.

“There is still a long way to go and all we can do is look after ourselves and our own results. We are just going to take it one game at a time,” he added.

Next up for the league leaders and Mercer Cup holders is a home game against an in form Irvinestown side and Kerr knows it will be a tough contest.

“They beat the team that were top of the table last week, Killen Rangers, so it shows that they are a good side and we know that we are going to have to be right on top of our game if we are going to take the three points,” he said.

Rangers changed their formation and tactics for Saturday’s trip to Strule with Kerr playing three up front and going more direct than they normally would.

Rangers pressed from the start and William Burleigh headed over before the visitors were to go on and take the lead although there was more than a touch of fortune about Keenan’s opener.

The striker went to play a crossfield ball but with the goalkeeper in no-mans land, it drifted over him and into the back of the net for 1-0.

Mark Cutler then had a fine chance to double the away side’s advantage when a ball into the box saw Keenan contest it with the goalkeeper and defender before it spilled into Cutler’s path but with the goal at his mercy he fired over.

Cutler was at the centre of things again when he was picked out by a racking Richie Johnston pass and he raced down the line before cutting inside and shooting but his effort flew narrowly wide as it remained 1-0 at the interval.

There was little in the way of goalmouth action in the opening 15 minutes of the second half but it was Rangers who were to go on and extend their lead as Keenan netted his second of the day.

A throw in from the left was played to James Turley and on the turn he lifted the ball to the back post where Keenan was on hand to volley home for 2-0.

Rangers continued to look the more likely to score against their hardworking opponents and Cutler had another great opportunity to find the net soon after.

Christopher Currie won a 50-50 ball in the middle of the park and fed Burleigh. He in turn played it out to the over-lapping David Crozier who cut it back across the goal to Cutler but the ball ran under his foot when he looked set to tap home.

The third though did arrive for the ‘Gers as they forced Strule into an error at the back and Keenan raced onto a loose backpass before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting home to leave it 3-0 at the finish.