Plains Rangers AFC

16 & 17 July 2016
Otumoetai 1, Plains Rangers men 4
Rotorua United 1, Plains Rangers women 1

SLH Contracting Plains Rangers men travelled to play Otumoetai in BOP division two on Saturday. Fergusson Park proved a very windy venue and both teams took quite a while to adjust to the conditions. Rangers got their noses in front after fifteen minutes when a freekick taken by captain James Hart sailed into the goal from 20 metres. Ten minutes later the home team's task became a lot harder, when one of their players was sent off for violent conduct. However, Rangers couldn't capitalise, and made things hard for themselves with some poor passing. At the break, the talk was of playing smarter and more patiently.
Only five minutes into the second half Hamish Wilde sent over a perfectly weighted corner which Hart headed into the Otumoetai net to double Rangers lead. However, the home team replied soon after, with an entertaining game developing. Rangers then responded with an excellent team goal. The ball was moved well out from the back to striker Sione Lotu. He fed the ball forward to right winger Petir Gray and ran through for the return pass, drawing the defenders. Gray turned the other way and struck a lovely shot past the keeper. Rangers kept the home team pinned well back in their half for the rest of the game. Jordan Ogilvy scored after latching on to a Wilde long throw and heading it in from a narrow angle. Late in the game the Otumoetai keeper pulled off a brilliant save to deny another excellent shot from Gray. The final score was Otumoetai 1, Plains Rangers 4.
The home team had battled gamely after the sending off had reduced their numbers, but Rangers were comfortable winners in the end. Hamish Wilde was named player of the day. His passing from the midfield was excellent throughout.
This weekend it seems Rangers have no game scheduled.
On Sunday Plains Rangers women also had to contend with wind and squally showers in their game at Rotorua United. The home team started with the elements at their backs and scored to take a 1 – 0 lead into the break. Rangers came back in the second half and scored through Kiahli Ibbetson. They had a number of other chances too, but were frustrated by off side calls. Speedy striker Cassidy Spillman was also thwarted, she was heading alone towards goal when the referee blew the full time whistle! The final score was Rotorua 1, Plains Rangers 1.
Rangers' player of the day was defender Joe Ingle. Rangers women will be keenly awaiting the draw for the split league to see who they are facing this coming Sunday.