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Photo:  Launceston City's Shane Egan (left) and Rangers' Patrick Lanau-Atkinson contest the ball [PlessPix]

(Victory League, Mitsubishi Park, Prospect, Saturday, 23 March 2013)

Launceston City 0

Northern Rangers 5 (N Lanau-Atkinson 17, S Brassington 42, 81, A Luate 45, P Lanau-Atkinson)

HT: 0-3   Att: 600   Ref: S Natoli

Launceston City: Farrell  -  Kargbo, Bartlett, S Egan, D Egan  -  Campbell, L Duncan, Rossetto, Sciulli  -  Bin Sumaida, Bart [(W Egan 4) Hill 70]

Northern Rangers: Pooley  -  Tams, Tuma, McCarragher, A McIntyre (Anderson 80)  -  P Lanau-Atkinson (Rigby 85), Hingston, Schipper  -  Luate, Brassington, N Lanau-Atkinson

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Photo:  Launceston City and their mascots before Saturday's game [PlessPix]

Launceston City suffered an early blow when striker D’Zeffrey Bart limped off with a leg injury after just 4 minutes.  He suffered the injury in the opening seconds while going for a shot at goal during Launceston City’s first attack.

His replacement, Will Egan, was stretchered off during the second half and taken to hospital by ambulance after also being injured while going for a 50/50 ball.

Northern Rangers’ goalkeeper Marshall Pooley was playing his 150th game for the club and defender Gabriel Tams his 200th.

Nick Lanau-Atkinson put Rangers ahead in the 17th minute direct from a corner from the right.

Rangers had the ball in the net again shortly after, but the effort was disallowed by referee Simon Natoli because of an infringement.

Rangers’ English striker Shane Brassington was looking sharp and rattled the City woodwork midway through the opening half.

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Photo:  Northern Rangers and their mascots before the clash with Launceston City [PlessPix]

He had better fortune in the 42nd minute when he forced the ball home after a free-kick taken by Derek Schipper to give his side a 2-0 lead.

Agele Luate made it 3-0 at the interval with a shot on the turn on the stroke of half-time.

An error by Shane Egan in the 78th minute provided Patrick Lanau-Atkinson with Rangers’ fourth, while 9 minutes from the end Schipper again proved the provider as his pass enabled Brassington to fire home the visitors’ fifth.

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Photo:  The match officials in their new Victory League Specsavers gear [PlessPix]

Launceston City coach, Dane Hudson, said:

“I think, today, Rangers played very, very well.  Congratulations to them.  I thought they were very good.

“I thought we didn’t limit our mistakes in our defensive third and gave them opportunities to score from areas that were pretty dangerous, and they did.

“I thought their set-plays were good.  The two goals in the first half were both from set-plays and they actioned those very, very well.”

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Photo:  Launceston City and their mascots come out for the match [PlessPix]

Launceston City’s Shane Egan said:

“It was disappointing.  We trained hard and focussed on this first game for a while, but it was very disappointing.

“It was a great day for the Victory League.  The first game was between two teams that aspire to be top of the league and they played that way, and Rangers obviously have a chance as well.

“We played well in stages, but we were just inconsistent.  It’s pretty disappointing.

“It’s going to be a tough year for everyone.  Every week is going to be hard and we just have to learn.  We’ve got a young group so we just have to build on that and work hard for each other.

“We knew it was going to be tough.  When we went behind we couldn’t drop our heads.  We just have to keep working hard and hope that next week we can get points against Kingborough.”

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Photo:  Northern Rangers skipper Todd Hingston in a race for the ball [PlessPix]

Northern Rangers coach, Peter Savill, said:

“I’m very happy that we got a first win.  We all knew the game was going to be tough.

“It was always going to be a difficult game for me personally.  Yes, very difficult.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do on our shape, possession and things like that.

“It’s a good league.  I think anybody who saw today’s first game will agree it’ll be a good league.  It’s good to see people up from Hobart watching the game.  It’s terrific.”

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Photo:  Rangers score direct from Nick Lanau-Atkinson's corner [PlessPix]

Northern Rangers captain, Todd Hingston, said:

“A very good win for the first go at the State League, the Victory League.  We were very happy to get away with a big win.

“It was a great result.  It was probably easier than we’ll get for the rest of the year.

“It was a hard-fought game.  They lost a few players this year which probably didn’t help them.

“We felt pretty happy [leading 2-0 at half-time] the way we played in the first half.  We were a bit sloppy in the second half but we tried to pull that back and snuck a couple of goals and we’ll take that every day.

“It was a great idea [to have a double-header].  Congratulations to FFT and it and it was well put on by City.  A good day all round and lots of goals.  Definitely a good idea.”

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Photo:  Rangers' Todd Hingston tries to stop a Launceston City attack [PlessPix]

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Photo:  Northern Rangers' Gabriel Tams shadows Launceston City's Daniel Egan, who is in possession [PlessPix]

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Photo:  Launceston City's Daniel Egan chases Rangers' Nick Lanau-Atkinson who has the ball [PlessPix]