Plains Rangers AFC
31st July 2021
Taupo Lakers 1, Plains Rangers 0
Plains Rangers travelled to play third placed Taupo Lakers on Saturday, aware that the challenge would be a tough one. In their previous meeting the teams had battled out a hard fought 2 – 2 draw.
Rangers lined up a more defensive formation in the first half as they played into a gentle breeze in excellent conditions. The home team pressed hard and Rangers found it difficult to get players forward quickly enough to support lone striker Phil Ballingall when he was in possession. The Rangers defence did enough to keep Taupo at bay and the score at half time was 0 – 0.
Rangers switched to a two-man front line after the break and began to get their midfield into attacks as well. The deadlock was broken ten minutes into the half. Taupo forced a corner and Rangers cleared the initial danger, but Taupo swung a follow-up cross back into the penalty area and it was expertly volleyed home by the well-performed Taupo centre back. The midfield battle was well contested by both teams, with Jimmy Hart and Hamish Wilde playing strongly for Rangers. Taupo continued to attack to try and consolidate their lead and Christian Wetting made a fantastic diving save to pluck the ball out of the air from its target of the top corner of the net. The home team hung onto their lead to take the game 1 – 0.
Wetting was named player of the day for his typically excellent display. Ballingall also shone and Carl Imlig stood out in defence. This weekend Rangers have a bye.