Plains Rangers AFC

29 August 2020

Plains Rangers men 1, Taupo Lakers 4

It ended up being a classic case of the score not reflecting the game on Saturday, when Plains Rangers hosted Taupo in a top of the table clash at Edgecumbe.
League leaders Taupo settled into the game well with their good passing style to the fore. Rangers pressed hard and put together useful moves to set up an intriguing encounter. Taupo opened the scoring in the eighteenth minute; a well worked move was finished with a good shot from inside the box. Rangers came back with a number of attacks, but chose to shoot from outside the box and didn't trouble the keeper. On the half hour the visitors scored from another piece of good football to double their lead. Rangers pushed hard and came close late in the half when Jason Pullar put a header narrowly wide. At half time the Rangers discussions were about having a better first touch and working the ball into the box.
It paid off five minutes into the second half. Great work down the line from Ben McPherson fed Hamish Wilde. He took the ball to the line and pulled it across goal for Phil Ballingall to bury in the net. Inspired by this, Rangers played a better passing game and had the upper hand for much of the second half. However, the visitors held firm and late in the game they got back on the scoresheet. With five minutes to go Taupo were awarded a disputed penalty when their playmaker Alan Lamb was tackled coming into the Rangers penalty area. It was converted well. To add insult to injury, Taupo scored again in the final minute when their striker scored with a brave header to make the final result 4 – 1 to the visitors.
It had been a fast paced game of very good quality, a pleasure to watch for any neutrals in the crowd. Sam Christieson was named player of the day for Rangers after an excellent effort on the left flank. Rangers would be disappointed with the result, which leaves them in a tight battle near the top of the league, but pleased to have played some of their best football of the season.
This weekend Rangers men are away to Otumoetai Special Reserve, while Rangers women are away to Tauranga City.