Plains Rangers AFC

2nd June Te Puke 3, Plains Rangers 2

Gary Fowell Builders Plains Rangers would count themselves unlucky not to come away with something from their match at Te Puke on Saturday.
Rangers were without their keeper Christian Wetting for this game, so player coach Richie Nillesen put himself between the sticks. From the start the game was full on, fast and physical. The home team started out marginally stronger, and after fifteen minutes they had a lucky goal on the board with the ball looping into Rangers' goal. Rangers put together some good attacks, centre midfielder Andy Brabant had a shot saved. After half an hour Te Puke went further ahead with a smashing strike from 25 metres. Goal! However, Rangers did not wilt. James Krause had his ankles kicked as he ran into the box, but no penalty was forthcoming. One of a series of heavy tackles from a Te Puke defender resulted in a Rangers free kick outside the box. James Hart swung the ball in, the home defence inexplicably hesitated and John Stephen put the ball in their goal. The half finished with Rangers pressing and winning a series of corners. Te Puke were ahead 2 - 1 at the break.
Rangers started strongly after half time. Ben McPherson had a good run down the left and put in a lovely cross, but Ben Howe put his header over the bar. Two minutes later McPherson got free on the left. He curled a great cross with the outside of his foot and left winger Jaiden Ibbetson headed it powerfully into the goal. The game only remained even for a minute, a long ball from Te Puke caught Rangers defender Jordan Ogilvy on the shoulder and it ended up in Rangers' net. Rangers kept on the pressure for another equalizer. With fifteen minutes to go, Stephen was flattened in the Te Puke penalty area but play was waved on. A McPherson free kick was well saved by the Te Puke keeper. The referee finally lost his patience with ten minutes to go, after another bad tackle and red carded a Te Puke defender, but the home team hung on to take a 3 - 2 win.
It was certainly an entertaining game for the good crowd of spectators. Rangers had played well and, as acknowledged by the home team, deserved some reward from the game. John Stephen was named player of the day for Rangers, with James Krause and Ben McPherson also in top form. The Te Puke keeper earned the plaudits for the home team
This Saturday Rangers are at home to Old Blues. Kick off at Awakeri is at 2.30pm.