Plains Rangers AFC

16th June Plains Rangers 0, Whakatane Town 1

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 half time.
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.