Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers

April 16 / 17 v Old Blues & Rotorua United

Steady rain didn't dampen the mood or the form for Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers on Saturday.
Rangers traveled to play Old Blues at Welcome Bay and adjusted quickly to the skidding ball. Early in the game Cameron Wills, playing his last game for Rangers, took off on a solo run, beating several players before putting his shot just wide of the goal. It was a signal that Rangers were up for the game. They settled into a good pattern of football, testing out the home defence and creating chances. The Rangers defence combined very well as a unit and snuffed out the home team's efforts. Ben McPherson hit the Old Blues post, Ben Howe had a shot luckily smothered by the keeper managing to sit on it, and so the chances came and went. At half time coach Aaron Muggeridge told his players to stay patient and keep playing the ball around.
After the break Rangers continued to control the game, and eventually the pressure told. A long shot from McPherson got past the well performed Old Blues keeper to open the scoring. With the conditions making the game more of a lottery, a narrow lead was never comfortable. Wills went close in a one-on-one, but the keeper made a brave save. Midway through the half Richie Nillesen was put through and he managed to slot the ball past the advancing keeper before the pair collided, forcing Nillesen off injured. The home team tried to up the ante, but Jono Whitaker, Jeremy Hawkes, Jeff Krause and player of the day Ben Fretwell were just too strong in defence. The final score was Old Blues 0, Plains Rangers 2.
This kept Rangers unbeaten start to the season going, but they will be well tested this week, with the long trip to Taupo always a difficult task. Rangers will miss the lively wing play of Cameron Wills as he heads south. On the positive side, was the return of Jordan Ogilvy, who always makes a contribution with his strong running down the line.

In the BOP women's league, Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers were away to Rotorua United. Injuries meant Rangers only had eleven players available. For the first twenty minutes, Rangers passed the ball around well and held their own, a sign of continuing improvement. Rotorua eventually wore them down, and won the game 11 - 0. A strong performance from Jess Bailey, who put in some good tackles, saw her named player of the day.