Plains Rangers AFC

May 22nd 2004 v Whakatane

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The passion of a local derby kept the temperatures rather hot on a rainy Saturday
afternoon, when Plains Rangers went to play top of the table Whakatane in front of a
good crowd at Rex Morpeth Park.
Rangers turned the heat up on their neighbours, creating a number of chances in the
first ten minutes. The hard running Richard Nillesen combined well with Aaron
Muggeridge up front to keep the home defence busy. Whakatane then came back into
the game, and when player-coach Werner Rechsteiner won a penalty, it looked like
the home team would live up to expectations. However, his spot kick rebounded off
the post, and Rangers made the most of this let off. Shortly after, Rangers won a free kick in the
midfield, and a perfectly weighted ball from Mark Thompson gave the Whakatane
defence huge problems, Dean Butterworth slamming the ball into the net. Rangers
kept the pressure on their opponents with a passionate display and led 1 - 0 at the
The second half saw Whakatane having more and more of the advantage, but unable
to put the ball in the goal. Man of the match Aberhart made several outstanding saves,
and Thompson led his defence in superb fashion. In the final ten minutes, the heavy
ground took toll on the legs of the defenders and Whakatane finally got their
equaliser. Gavin Rothwell got his head to a corner and was delighted to see it go
through the legs of a fellow attacker, unsighting the plucky Rangers keeper, and into
the goal. The final score, Whakatane 1 Plains Rangers 1 was a fitting result.
Rangers were be very pleased with their determination throughout this match. There
was strong tackling, and pressure on the opposition, and also some good attacking
movement. The high level of play was complemented by some excellent refereeing
by Richard Kluit.
This Saturday Rangers probably have a catch up game against Rotorua City.