Plains Rangers AFC

April 3rd 2004 v Tauranga City United

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Plains Rangers had a warm welcome back to BOP division one on Saturday when
they hosted Tauranga City United at the Edgecumbe Domain.
On a very warm afternoon, the visitors started out the better and kept Rangers pegged
back in their own territory for the majority of the first half. Tauranga City United
were awarded a penalty midway through the half, after a defender was adjudged to
have fouled one of their strikers. The penalty was converted and the visitors looked
comfortable in their lead.
However, after the interval, Rangers showed more heart and started to find some
holes in the opposition defence. A good ball from the hardworking Bas Overdevest
put striker Brendan Cusack through into the penalty area. The keeper came out to
block the first attempted strike, but Cusack took the ball past him and scored with an
excellent left footer from a tight angle. With the game evened up, both teams strove
to grab the winner and play opened up. There were a good number of raids at both
goals. Aaron Muggeridge almost grabbed a winner for Rangers, just failing to get a
his head to a well placed cross, after a good run. At the other end, keeper Matt
Aberhart made some fine saves to deny the hungry United strikers. In the end a 1 - 1
draw was a fair reflection of the game. It will also give Rangers some good
confidence in their return to top flight soccer.
The whole Rangers team played well in patches, but can improve in their passing and
ball retention. Barrie Hawkes was named player of the day after a good showing in
defence. Fellow defender Jason Shaw and keeper Aberhart were others to stand out.
Next week the league takes a break for Easter. Rangers’ next game is away to Te