Plains Rangers AFC

8 September 2018
Plains Rangers men 1, Otumoetai Special Reserve 2

Playing their first game at home in five weeks did not bring much luck for SLH Contracting Plains Rangers on Saturday. Rangers were at home to Otumoetai Special Reserve and in the first half they had to play into a strong swirling breeze. Ten minutes into the game the ball unluckily bounced up to hit a Rangers defender’s arm and the visitors dispatched the resulting penalty well. Rangers had another scare, but veteran defender Barrie Hawkes did enough to keep out an attacker who was through on goal. Ten minutes later Otumoetai got through again, capitalising on a misjudgement, to score again and they had a healthy lead. Rangers did have several break outs, but they had to work hard to make headway. At the break, player –coach Christian Wetting reminded his team that they needed to play good simple football, and with the wind’s backing the chances would appear.
The second half certainly saw Rangers have a good share of territory and possession. They won a series of corners. Ten minutes into the half Petir Gray reacted quickest to being awarded a free-kick. He took the ball to the line and pulled it across goal. Xavier Bain came on to the far post to control the cross, beat a defender and score. Rangers poured on the pressure. Kirk Bain pounced on a corner, his well-hit shot struck the arm of a defender on the goal line, but no penalty was forthcoming. Jaiden Ibbetson, Hamish Wilde, Ronan Mitchell and Petir Gray all worked hard to prise open the visiting defence, but it held firm to the end. The final score was Plains Rangers 1 Otumoetai 2.
Player of the day for Rangers was Ronan Mitchell, who had his best outing in his debut season.
This Saturday sees Rangers’ last fixture for the season, another home game, this time with Taupo the visitors. Rangers will want to finish the season on a good note.