Plains Rangers AFC

9 & 10 April 2016
Plains Rangers men 2, Rotorua United 0
Plains Rangers women v Taupo

On Saturday SLH Contracting Plains Rangers were at home to Rotorua United in BOP division 2. Rotorua had beaten Rangers in a pre-season game, and would have been hopeful of a repeat. However, Rangers started strongly, with good midfield play a feature throughout the game. An early Jaiden Ibbetson being upended early with a shout for a penalty would have alarm bells for the visitors. James Krause also put in a good early strike, before Rangers opened the scoring through the calm finish of Sione Lotu after fifteen minutes. Rotorua had their share of attacks too and the defence led by captain Matt Dalgity had to be on their toes. Late in the half a strong shot from Hamish Wilde was parried by the well-performed Rotorua keeper, however Ibbetson raced in and buried the rebound in the net. Rangers went into the half time break 2 – 0 up.
At half time stand-in coach Aaron Muggeridge made sure Rangers were sticking to the game plan of controlling the game through the midfield for the second half. This worked out well, although Rangers very nearly extended their lead in the first minute when Ibbetson was unlucky to hit the post with a fierce shot. More unluckily, Rangers then lost Lotu, who has been impressive in his first two games of football, to injury. For the rest of the half, Rangers played with good control, and the passing was impressive. A number of good chances were created, with Wilde and Krause in particular going close, but with no further scoring. The final score was Plains Rangers 2, Rotorua United 0.
This was a good team performance, building on the win from the previous week. Stand-in goalkeeper for Rangers Ben Sexton was named player of the day after doing the job confidently.
This Saturday Rangers are away to Papamoa.