Plains Rangers AFC
20 August 2016
Plains Rangers men 1, Whakatane Town 0
Plains Rangers women 3, Ngongotaha 0 (def)
Plains Rangers women 1, Invitation XI 0
Plains Rangers 25th jubilee got off to a great start with two entertaining games at Awakeri on Saturday. Rangers' women played an Invitation XI and won 1 – 0 courtesy of a Cassidy Spillman goal.
A good crowd then watched an absorbing battle between Rangers men and Whakatane Town. The game doubled as a BOP division two fixture and a Sponsors Cup challenge. Both teams played at a fast pace from the outset and attacked strongly. Rangers created a couple of great chances, a one-on-one and a ball squared right across the Whakatane goal, but no one could apply the finishing touch. Whakatane gained the better of possession later in the half and after 30 minutes young Rangers defender Jamaal James saved his team leaping up to head away a goal bound header. One minute later Rangers keeper Christian Wetting showed excellent reflexes in getting down to block a shot from close range. The game was in the balance at 0 – 0 at half time.
Rangers coach Aaron Muggeridge tweaked his formation to counter the Whakatane strengths and sent his charges out for the second half.
Rangers held their shape well and didn't give the visitors many opportunities in the second half. Later in the half the home team pressure built up. Left winger Jordan Ogilvy went on a great run beating several defenders, he played a one-two to get into the box and finished with a well-placed shot, but the Whakatane keeper dived to pull off a brilliant save. Petir Gray went close for Rangers. The warm day and the pace of the game meant both teams were tiring, it became a will power contest. With ten minutes to go a cross in from the left found Rangers centre midfielder Ali Scott who controlled it down to his trusty left boot and let fly. Goal!! The Rangers supporters erupted on the sideline. Rangers then played sensible football for the last few minutes, controlling possession to ensure the win. SLH Contracting Plains Rangers 1, Whakatane Town 0.
The game had been played in excellent spirit and it was well controlled by referee Michel Nillesen. Whakatane's keeper was named their man of the match, while Jamaal James got the nod for Rangers. Rangers would have been very pleased with the performance considering several players were suffering illness. The return of the Sponsors Cup from Whakatane set off the rest of the jubilee celebrations.
This weekend Rangers men are at home to Ngongotaha, while Rangers women are away to Kawerau Sports.