It was a typical local derby: plenty of thrills, some
dodgy tackles and a late twist when Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers
hosted Whakatane Town at Awakeri on Saturday.
The game started very evenly, with neither team really gaining the ascendancy
for a while. After half an hour though, Rangers got the upper hand. Ben
Howe, who was lively on the right wing all day, had a shot saved by the
Whakatane keeper. Five minutes later, Rangers striker Dean Butterworth
had a shot well saved, the rebound was saved and a third attempt blocked
and somehow Whakatane survived. A minute later Whakatane produced a counter
attack and hit the home team's post. The score was locked at 0 - 0 at
The second half continued the even battle, with the tackles starting to
fly in. Rangers' keeper Christian Wetting made a good save after fifteen
minutes. Shortly after referee Lance Ewens did well to keep a lid on things
when Rangers took exception to another late tackle. Midway through the
half Ben McPherson put in a good cross from the left, and Butterworth
chested it just wide of the Whakatane goal. With five minutes to go, the
Whakatane keeper mishit his clearance and John Stephen intercepted with
his chest, but was called back for hand ball with the goal at his mercy.
Two minutes later, Rangers lost the ball in the midfield and Whakatane
took advantage, with midfielder Ben Miller scoring a well taken goal.
The final score was Plains Rangers 0, Whakatane Town 1.
Miller was named Whakatane's player of the day and James Krause, filling
in at centre back, won the nod for Rangers. The game had been very even
and perhaps a draw might have been a fitting result but the win keeps
Whakatane in equal top slot.
This Saturday the BOP league takes a break, with the first round of the
Bay Sportsmed Cup. Rangers are at home to fellow 1st division side Otumoetai.
Kick off at Awakeri is at 2 pm.
On Sunday the Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers women's team travelled
to play Rotorua United. Rangers played some good football in the first
half and made the young Rotorua team work hard for their lead. Midway
through the second half, Hailey Benner was flattened by a ball to the
face. Rangers found it hard to restart their game after a lengthy break
for treatment. Rotorua, keen to capitalise on their distracted opponents,
eventually won the game 15 - 0. For Rangers, Raven Hunia was named player
of the day with a good effort in the midfield.
This Sunday Rangers women are away to Tauranga City United in the start
of the second round.