Plains Rangers AFC
26th May 2021
Plains Rangers 2, Old Blues 0
Plains Rangers picked a good day to play their best football of the season when they hosted league leaders Tauranga Old Blues on Saturday.
Rangers altered their formation slightly to try and arrest the recent run of conceding too many goals. Both teams set out playing good brands of football. Rangers passed their way forward, either through the midfield or down the flanks. Old Blues used a deep lying midfielder to switch play, attempting to put their speedy striker into space. Rangers did well defensively to cope with this threat. Player of the day Ian Gray was outstanding in limiting aerial attacks and making timely interceptions. He and Matt Dalgity kept the centre of defence tight. A high quality battle ranged back and forth, and Rangers opened the scoring late in the first half with two substitutes combining superbly. Edison Indarte created some space on the left flank and crossed the ball into the Old Blues penalty area, Jon Barnes raced in from the right and headed it back across goal and into the net. Rangers almost doubled their lead two minutes later when Ian Gray headed narrowly wide from a corner. At the other end Old Blues were getting the ball to the line and pulling it hard across goal, but Rangers' keeper Christian Wetting was secure each time. At half time Rangers led 1 – 0.
The second half continued being a good showing of passing football, but Rangers' desire was perhaps a little stronger. After twenty minutes a Rangers attack down the left wing caused panic in front of the Old Blues goal and a defender, attempting to clear the ball, smacked it into young Levi McIntyre's shoulder and into the goal. Rangers main aim for the rest of the game was to contain the visitors' attacks, which the defence did very competently. The final score was Plains Rangers 2, Old Blues 0.
This was an effort and result that will give Rangers a big boost as they head into the second round of the league. Along with Ian Gray, Carl Imlig, Edison Indarte and James Hart impressed with their excellent work. This Saturday Rangers are at home again, this time to Otumoetai Special Reserve. Kick off at Edgecumbe is at 2pm.