ON THE HUNT: Clinton FC's Ryan Crawford (right) puts pressure on Frenchville player Ryan Lubb at Ryan Park on Saturday night.
ON THE HUNT: Clinton FC's Ryan Crawford (right) puts pressure on Frenchville player Ryan Lubb at Ryan Park on Saturday night. Chris Ison ROK020717csoccer1

Varnes hat-trick sinks Frenchville

SOCCER: Clinton FC have kept their recent dominance over rivals Frenchville intact with a come-from-behind 4-1 victory in Rockhampton at the weekend.

The three-goal win keeps Clinton inside the top two of the CQ Premier League with Frenchville sitting in fourth spot.

Clinton didn't have it all their own way during the opening 20 minutes of the Ryan Park contest, conceding the opening goal against the run of play after midfielder Mitch Innocend almost scored at the other end.

Clinton's response to the goal wasn't what coach Derek Horton wanted and he had some choice words to say at half-time as a result.

However, Clinton received a reprieve shortly before the break when Liam Stephen was taken down in the box resulting in a penalty.

Ryan Crawford held his nerve from the spot to level the scoreboard at 1-1 in the 44th minute.

After a period of half-time self reflection, Clinton came out a determined outfit in the second half largely thanks to the tireless effort of winger Matt Varnes.

Varnes played 70 minutes and scored five goals for Clinton's reserves and started the Premier League clash on the bench, but was called into action in the 14th minute after Anthony Fritz was struck down with injury.

Horton's original plan was to bring Varnes off the bench around the 60-minute mark.

Varnes scored in the 57th, 67th and 90th minute to secure the three competition points for Horton's men.

"(Varnes) played the best part of two games and was the best player on the field in both of them,” Horton said.

"He's one of those guys where everything is all effort. He runs and chases everything and when other people think they're probably not going to get there he'll keep chasing and that's where he gets his reward.

"I think he's played himself back into the team.

"After last night I think I've got to put him back in so I'm going to have to find a spot for him this week.”

Clinton FC 4 (Ryan Crawford 44' pen, Matt Varnes 57', 67', 90') defeated Frenchville 1.