Plains Rangers AFC
4 June 2016
Plains Rangers men 2, Kawerau Sports 1
The good crowd of spectators at Awakeri would have 'got their money's worth' on Saturday, with a true local derby game between SLH Contracting Plains Rangers and visitors Kawerau Sports.
Plains Rangers started out strongly, stringing some nice moves together through the midfield and keeping Kawerau on the defensive. Ten minutes in, and Rangers grabbed the lead. A good ball from Rangers player-coach Christian Wetting, playing in centre midfield, put striker Sione Lotu in and he buried his chance in the net. Kawerau were determined to put up a good contest and there were some willing challenges in the midfield, but with Rangers having the better share of territory. After thirty minutes Rangers extended their lead. A ball over the top from the hard-working Hamish Wilde found Lotu and he scored with a delicate left footed shot. Rangers piled on the pressure. Tijmen Corporaal had a shot saved by the keeper, and Kawerau somehow survived a goalmouth scramble. Late in the half Kawerau got back in the game when Hamiora Awhimate pounced on a rare moment of disorganisation in the Rangers defence, going on a great solo run before putting the ball emphatically in the net. At half time the score was Rangers 2 Kawerau 1.
The mood was competitive as the players went back on the field for the second half. Kawerau got the ball more to their young striking duo and they kept Rangers centre backs Matt Dalgity and Peter Kirkbride busy. Lotu limped off with an injury, but his replacement Aaron Muggeridge did well, receiving the ball and setting up the flying midfielders Wilde and James Krause for forays forward. The temperature continued to rise throughout the half as Kawerau were determined to try and find an equaliser. Wetting limped off injured and Muggeridge dropped back to close up shop. In the final moment of the game, a foul by a Rangers defender was taken exception to by the recipient and a melee ensued. Referee Michel Nillesen would have been relieved to blow the final whistle.
The final score remained 2 – 1 to Rangers.
Rangers would have been happy with the football they played and of course the result. Their player of the day was goal keeper Matt Eveleens, who did the job confidently. This Saturday Rangers have another home game, this time to the experienced Tauranga City United team. Kick off at Awakeri is at 2pm.