Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers
October 16th v Whkatane Town 1sts
A good sized crowd enjoyed a thoroughly entertaining final
game of football on Saturday. Pullar Builders Whakatane Town hosted Gary
Fowell Builders Plains Rangers in the annual sponsors challenge.
The youthful Rangers side settled into their attacking work quickly with
the movement of their front runners causing the Federation League home
team's defence problems. After ten minutes Rangers were in front. Ben
McPherson whipped in a corner and it sailed untouched into the Whakatane
goal. Game on! Whakatane got their play flowing better and, despite appeals
for off side, scored when a cross was bundled in at the far post. Both
teams attacked with a will, with some Whakatane players resorting to some
dodgy tackles to slow the game down. A flying Adam Barkla volley had the
Rangers supporters almost celebrating, but it grazed the top of the goal
and stayed out. A Whakatane raid down the right wing ended with a hard
hit low cross which the Rangers keeper couldn't hold and it was rammed
home. Rangers captain Christian Wetting left a trail of defenders in his
wake as he juggled the ball into the Whakatane penalty area and sent a
volley narrowly wide, with winger Cameron Wills almost managing to steer
it into the goal at the far post. At half time the score was Whakatane
2, Rangers 1.
The warm conditions saw the game become more stretched in the second half,
with the chances continuing to be created. A switch of play by defender
Barrie Hawkes found Cameron Wills running into the Whakatane penalty area
and the lively winger was dragged down by his wrongsided defender. Wills
stepped up to convert the penalty and even up the scores. However the
home team got ahead again after player-coach Werner Rechsteiner was judged
to have been fouled by Rangers young centre midfielder Ben Fretwell. Rechsteiner
curled the free kick into the top corner of the goal. By this time a number
of players were cramping up due to the fast moving game and the warm conditions.
A through ball had Rangers stand in keeper Jono Whitaker racing out of
his area only to bring down the attacker and earn a red card. Having to
play the last fifteen minutes with ten men put paid to the Rangers chances,
but it always remained tight and the game ended Whakatane 3 Rangers 2.
Both teams would have been satisfied with the football they turned on
to thank their sponsors and supporters. Rangers' player of the day was
its inspirational leader Christian Wetting, with defender Jeremy Hawkes
also high in the performance stakes. Whakatane's player of the day was
Rangers prize giving and break up night is Saturday 30th October at the
Awakeri Events Centre, from 5.30pm onwards.