Plains Rangers AFC

August 30th 2003 v Otumoetai Two

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Plains Rangers staged a glorious finale to their season, when they hosted Otumoetai
Two in BOP division two on Saturday.
The game was a tensely fought affair from the start. The visitors held the upper hand
for the opening twenty minutes, and only some desperate defence and some luck kept
them at bay. Rangers keeper Matt Aberhart had to be at his best to deal with a number
of raids and shots. At one point defender Barrie Hawkes headed a strongly hit shot off
his goal-line, only for Otumoetai to sweep back on attack, get round Aberhart and
then hit the post. Aberhart dived on the rebound gratefully. The game was scoreless at
the break.
In the second half, Rangers gained more of the advantage, and Otumoetai had to
defend for reasonable periods. Rangers strikers Dan Logan and Aaron Muggeridge
were receiving the ball well from the midfield and launching some useful attacks.
Otumoetai counter-attacked well and went close a number of times. Damian Scully
and Steve Vierboom used the space well down the flanks for Rangers. Just when it
looked as though both teams had cancelled each other out and the game would end
scoreless, a last Rangers attack bore fruit. Logan received the ball wide on the right
and sent in a cross. Brendan Cusack launched himself between a defender and the
advancing keeper to head a great goal that sent the Rangers players and supporters
into raptures. The Otumoetai players could only shake their heads in anguish as
referee Sjoerd Overdevest blew the final whistle. The score Plains Rangers 1,
Otumoetai 0.
This result means Rangers could well have finished second in the league, and rounds
off an excellent run of four victories without a goal conceded, although Otumoetai
were very unlucky in this instance not to have scored. Bas Overdevest’s sterling work
in the Rangers engine room earned him player of the match, while the Otumoetai
keeper justly earned his team’s award.