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Mixed feelings for Mackenzie; FOOTBALL: Atherstone United 3 Paget Rangers 1.

IN-FORM Atherstone notched up a hat-trick of home wins to power into seventh place in the Western Division table.

It was no easy task for Steve Mackenzie's boys against the bottom club, who snatched an early advantage through Kirk Maragh before the hosts found their feet to take maximum points thanks to a brace by skipper Danny Martin and a Kevin Casson penalty.

Mackenzie had mixed feelings about the victory. He said: "I wasn't very happy with our first half performance. I thought our general use of corners and free-kicks was appaling. Having said that we could have gone in leading at half-time so it was simply a case of telling the players where they were going wrong.

"The second period was much better with every single player improving which was pleasing to see. To be honest we are making things hard for ourselves by not taking advantage of our pressure but if we can redress that I'm sure we can be a handful to other sides."

The Sheepy Road chief was delighted with the form of centre backs Steve Farmer and John Newall and was pleased to see Martin weigh in with two goals.

Heavy rain and swirling winds made life tough for both sides. Rangers were quicker out of the blocks and took the lead on three minutes when Maragh beat keeper Dale Belford with a low eight-yard drive.

Casson then forced a fine stop from keeper Matt Pugh and Andy Marlowe struck the post before Martin equalised on 16 minutes as he reacted smartly after Pugh parried a Leon Kelly drive to sweep the ball home from close range.

Midway through the second half Adders took the lead. Kelly's pace took him beyond Martin Ruddick who upended the striker just inside the area and Casson made no mistake from the spot for his third penalty goal of the campaign.

Victory was sealed for United eight minutes from time as Martin netted his fourth goal of the season, forcing the ball past Pugh from Marlowe's curling cross.

Atherstone United: Belford, Marlowe, Martin, Higgs, Farmer, Newall, Blair, Casson, Kelly, Bishop (Purvey 56mins), Jones, Chadbone (84mins). Substitute not used: White.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 30, 2000
Words:360
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