Plains Rangers AFC

May 15th 2004 v Kawerau

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Victory in a local derby is always sweet, and Plains Rangers had such a day on
Saturday. Neighbours Kawerau, sitting one place higher on the table, came to visit.
The game was keenly contested throughout. Kawerau were unlucky to lose the
experience of Brent Mitchell early, as injury took him out of the action.
Rangers took the lead after fifteen minutes. A well judged long ball from Barrie
Hawkes put Dan Logan in on the Kawerau keeper. He came out bravely, but Logan
squeezed the ball past him in an excellent striker’s finish. Later in the half,
ex-Kawerau player Richie Nillesen robbed the ball in the visitors goal area, and beat
two players while finding time to slot the ball past the keeper. Left half Craig Lambert
almost extended the lead when a well struck lob from 30 metres brought an excellent
save from the Kawerau keeper. The visitors fought hard for the remainder of the half
and came out firing after the break as well.
Early in the second half Kawerau’s fortunes looked to be on the up. They were
awarded a penalty after some pushing at a corner kick. The penalty was blasted over
the top. However, Rangers keeper Matt Aberhart was spotted off his line and the kick
was retaken. Aberhart then dived to save the retaken penalty brilliantly. Some niggly
play took the gloss off the game for a while, and referee Colin Harrison was at his
best to keep things on an even keel. Midway through the second half, Rangers sealed
their win. Nillesen took a well judged free kick. Bas Overdevest headed it on and new
signing Dean Butterworth dived to flick a header over the advancing keeper for an
outstanding goal. The final score was Plains Rangers 3, Kawerau 0.
This was a strong all round performance by Rangers. Mark Thompson was a rock in
defence, while Mark Jeynes had another strong showing at right half. Dean
Butterworth won the nod for player of the day for his efforts in the midfield. Next
Saturday Rangers have another local derby, the much anticipated clash with
Whakatane Town.