Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers

May 13th 2006 v Opotiki

Four players on debut helped Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers to a comfortable win away to Opotiki in soccer's BOP division three on Saturday. With a number of players unavailable, Rangers welcomed back George Elliot for his first game in two years, Steve Vierboom, back from injury, Jason Pullar, transferred from Whakatane midweek and newcomer Jonathon Whitaker. Rangers took a little while to adjust to the very soft conditions at Opotiki, which, coupled with the long grass, made firm touches on the ball essential.
Rangers pressed forward from the start and opened the scoring after ten minutes, Aaron Muggeridge dummying one way then beating the keeper at his near post. Opotiki held out till midway through the half before Muggeridge was fouled in the penalty area. He got up to put away the resulting spot kick well. Rangers, with no subs and a number of players carrying injuries, held their shape well to have the half time lead 2 - 0.
After the interval, Opotiki came back into the game, determined to score. However, Rangers weathered the storm and then a well judged shot from Simon Gowing extended the lead. Later, a lay-off from Muggeridge primed Richie Nillesen for a well struck goal and Nillesen completed the scoring with a good solo effort. The final score Opotiki 0, Plains Rangers 5 was not a reflection of the effort the home team had put into the game, which was played in good spirit and was well controlled by referee Norm Howe.
George Elliot was deservedly named player of the day from some skilful work up the left. Pullar marshaled the defence well and Steve Vierboom showed no effects from an injury in a pre-season game. Up front young Whitaker ran hard and was within a whisker of scoring twice.
This Saturday Rangers have no game, but they will look forward to a home game against Kawerau on the 27th.