Plains Rangers AFC

28 July 2018
Otumoetai Green 2, Plains Rangers men 2

Plains Rangers got back to league action with an away trip to play the Otumoetai Green Bay Two team. A very strong wind blowing across the Fergusson Park pitch made playing good football difficult. Rangers were almost in trouble in the second minute when an underhit backpass put keeper Christian Wetting into difficulties, but by some good scrambling back and quite a bit of luck (a resulting shot hit the post) they survived. Rangers did get their game going quite well and created a number of chances as the half wore on, but resolute defence from Otumoetai's player of the day centre back and good judgement of the wind by their keeper, meant Rangers could not capitalise. Midway through the half midfielder Hamish Wilde went on a good run, but his shot went narrowly wide of the home team's goal. A counter attack by Otumoetai caught Rangers out and a well struck shot put the home team in front. Rangers redoubled their efforts, with a Petir Gray shot just over the bar, and the keeper saving a Xavier Bain effort. On the stroke of half time, Rangers finally did put one away. Xavier Bain took the ball to the line and pulled it back for Jaiden Ibbetson to control and score. At half time the score was 1 – 1.
The effects of the wind took more toll in the second half and Rangers were not so fluent. They won a series of corners, and the closest to capitalising was a great volley from Bain that unfortunately struck a defender. With three minutes to go the home team won a free kick on the edge of the Rangers penalty area. The free kick was well placed for it to be headed in at the back post and it looked like the home team had grabbed the win, but Rangers bounced back again. They also won an attacking free kick. Petir Gray put it into the danger zone and one of the defenders had the hard luck to turn it into his own net. The final score: Otumoetai 2, SLH Contracting Plains Rangers 2.
Husnul Gray was named player of the day after doing a good job in the unaccustomed position of right back. This Saturday Rangers have their first home game in a month, with the visit of Papamoa Old Boys. Kick off at Awakeri is at 2pm.
Rangers' women, who had to default this weekend, are also home, to Otumoetai with a 1pm start on Sunday.