Plains Rangers AFC

8th May 2021
Plains Rangers 2, Taupo Lakers 2

Plains Rangers hosted a strong Taupo Lakers team in BOP division two on Saturday. The game was a willing affair from the start, with the visitors getting their link-up play going earlier than Rangers. After 14 minutes, Taupo capitalised with a well worked move down the left and a good finish. The midfield battle was well contested as both teams tried to establish control. Late in the half there was a flurry of action. A long pass got behind the Rangers defence and Taupo doubled their lead. A minute later Rangers pounced straight back. Keeper Christian Wetting launched a clearance that found Kaleb Muggeridge on the left, he drew the defender and squared the ball to Phil Ballingall who buried it in the net. At half time Taupo led 2 – 1.
Both teams went straight on the attack after the break. Christian Wetting made a crucial diving save to fingertip a Taupo shot past the post. Rangers' striker Sione Lotu hit the post with a left foot shot. Rangers were increasingly on the front foot. A good pass found Rangers forward Earle Tuhimata in the box and his shot hit the post. Taupo worked hard to defend their lead and were almost successful. In the first minute of added time Rangers won a corner. Wetting came up from goal to join the action. His run across the face of goal drew two defenders, creating an opening for Rangers captain Jimmy Hart to score with a neat header. The vocal home crowd on the sideline erupted. The final score: Plains Rangers 2, Taupo Lakers 2.
Both teams probably did deserve a share of the points after such a hard-fought contest. Player of the day was Carl Imlig who did an excellent job nullifying the threat of the skilful Taupo striker. Phil Ballingall also had a top game.
This weekend Rangers have a bye.