Plains Rangers AFC

29 & 30 April 2017
Ngongotaha 1, Plains Rangers men 2
Whakatane Town v Plains Rangers women

On Saturday SLH Contracting Plains Rangers travelled to play Ngongotaha in BOP division one. The showery conditions meant passing was slick across the surface and Rangers got their combinations going early. However, after ten minutes a Ngongotaha attack beat the Rangers keeper but centre back Aaron Muggeridge blocked the shot on the line. Rangers attacked straight back. The ball swept up the right flank, via Ranui Renata to Hamish Wilde who squared the ball across goal for Richie Nillesen to score. Rangers controlled the next twenty minutes with some good passing and movement creating several chances. Gradually though, the home team came back into it and they scored with a looping header shortly before half time. At the break the score was 1 – 1.
At half time player–coach Christian Wetting called on his team to go back to their possession based play.
However, the home team started out strongly in the second half. Wetting was called on to make two good one-on-one saves in the first ten minutes. The battle was fairly even until the action hotted up in the final fifteen minutes. Rangers had an attack where three shots were well saved or blocked in the Ngongotaha penalty area. Then Wilde was sent free on a run down the left, he cut in and slotted the ball past the keeper to regain the lead or the visitors. The home team put the pressure back on and gained a penalty. The shot was well struck but Wetting pulled off an outstanding save to palm it over the bar. The final score remained Ngongotaha 1, Plains Rangers 2.
It had been a game of quite a few chances and both teams would claim they had the better of them. Certainly when Rangers played their passing game they looked very good. Their player of the day was centre midfielder James Hart. There were also welcome returns for Jason Pullar and Richie Nillesen, who did their jobs well.
This Saturday Rangers men are at home to Taupo, who beat Ngongotaha 5 – 1 when those teams met. Kick off at Awakeri is at 2pm.