Plains Rangers AFC

April 21 Plains Rangers men 1, Otumoetai 0
April 22 Kawerau Town 10, Plains Rangers women 2

Warm weather and a good home crowd welcomed Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers for their first game at Awakeri this season. Rangers hosted Otumoetai, a team they had lost both games to last season.
Rangers started the game strongly. An early foray from captain Ben McPherson set up left winger Jaiden Ibbetson, but he blazed his shot over the bar. The home team passed the ball around nicely, being patient in possession and waiting for opportunities. The Otumoetai keeper had to make a couple of good saves to keep the Rangers strikers out. Right winger Ben Howe did some great work as the home team got closer and closer. John Stephen, in his first game for Rangers, hit the crossbar with a header. McPherson hit the post after a run through from the left. In the final minute of the half however, Otumoetai almost sneaked the lead. They had the ball in the Rangers net, only to be pulled back for the cross having crossed over the goal line on its way into the box.
The talk at half time for Rangers was to continue being patient.
Soon after the break, it paid off. Good work from Andy Brabant in the midfield sent McPherson through and he calmly slotted the goal home. However, the visitors were not about to lie down. The battle was fairly even but the home supporters got rather nervous in the final fifteen minutes as Rangers tired in defence of their slender lead. Keeper Christian Wetting was robbed of the ball, but recovered to pounce on the ball as the Otumoetai striker was about to shoot. Wetting had to make another fine save late in the game when a clearance rebounded from a stray foot and was heading towards the Rangers goal. The final score was Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers 1, Otumoetai 0.
The three points were well deserved by Rangers and the game was played in good spirit, making it a pleasure for the spectators to watch. Chris Johnston was named player of the day for his determined work in defence. Jordan Ogilvy was another to impress in what was a good team display.
This Saturday Rangers are at home again, this time to Papamoa.
On Sunday Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers women's team travelled to play a youthful Kawerau team. The home team had the better of the first half, taking a comfortable lead, although Rangers striker Kate Simons was very unlucky with a shot that hit the underside of the crossbar. In the second half Simons couldn't be denied with a strong shot. Kawerau replied with a goal before Simons swung over a corner that couldn't be kept out. In the end the score was 10 - 2 to the home team. Rangers had played some good football. Ann-Elise Reynolds showed out with good determination and was named player of the day, while Julie Reihana and Kelly Wilson also had strong games.
This Sunday, Rangers' women are at home to top of the table Old Blues.