Plains Rangers AFC

5 & 6 August 2017
Taupo 3, Plains Rangers men 2
Plains Rangers women 0, Kawerau 7

SLH Contracting Plains Rangers had a ding dong battle with Taupo in BOP division one on Saturday. Taupo turned on a lovely day and a nice pitch for the game. The home team were more switched on at the beginning and gave Rangers an early fright, but they survived and settled into some good play. The Rangers midfield worked well together and gave strikers Sione Lotu and Ben Howe some useful ball. The game was evenly fought, but the home team eventually took the lead when a well-placed through ball put their striker in the clear and he slotted it home. Taupo missed the chance to double their lead when keeper Christian Wetting was judged to have pushed an opponent, but the resulting penalty was skied over the bar. At the break the score was 1 – 0 to Taupo.
Taupo pushed hard after half time and a corner led to their tall centre back heading the ball in at the far post. Rangers kept on their work too and were rewarded when a passing move from the left found Ben Howe in the Taupo area. He controlled it, made space and placed it wide of the keeper. Rangers had their tails up and kept the pressure on their hosts. Midway through the half, a corner was headed towards the Taupo goal and right half Chris Butler directed it over the keeper to even up the scores. Sadly for Rangers, the home team bounced straight back to score again. They then tried to run the clock down to hang onto their lead and a certain amount of niggle crept into the game. Taupo managed to keep Rangers out and the final score was 3 – 2.
Rangers were disappointed to not claim a share of the points, but pleased with the football they had played and the grit they had shown to come back. Chris Butler was named player of the day. This Saturday Rangers are at home to Papamoa, kick off at 2pm.
On Sunday Plains Rangers women only just managed to get a team together to play Kawerau. Rangers battled away in the first half, and were 2 – 0 down. Their keeper Radhika Arulambalam had to come off injured in a rather physical second half, with Kawerau eventually winning 7 – 0. Mishka Barry was player of the day for Rangers. This Saturday Rangers women are away to Taupo.