The passion of a local derby kept the temperatures rather hot on a rainy
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
first ten minutes. The hard running Richard Nillesen combined well with
Muggeridge up front to keep the home defence busy. Whakatane then came
the game, and when player-coach Werner Rechsteiner won a penalty, it looked
the home team would live up to expectations. However, his spot kick rebounded
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.
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
to put the ball in the goal. Man of the match Aberhart made several outstanding
and Thompson led his defence in superb fashion. In the final ten minutes,
ground took toll on the legs of the defenders and Whakatane finally got
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,
the goal. The final score, Whakatane 1 Plains Rangers 1 was a fitting
Rangers were be very pleased with their determination throughout this
was strong tackling, and pressure on the opposition, and also some good
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.