Plains Rangers men's and women's teams both had home games this weekend. Lots of good football was played, but they came away with contrasting results.
On Saturday Rangers men hosted league leaders Taupo. Rangers almost got off to a flying start. A sweeping move led to Jesse Meadows putting his shot inches wide. The game settled into a well-fought even contest. The home team were trying out a new formation, designed to give width to the play and win the ball back early and they adjusted fairly well. Taupo stuck to their strong style of play and after fifteen minutes, Rangers were lucky to survive an attack down the left flank. Rangers counter attacked immediately and again went close. Five minutes later Taupo did score, after a good attack had the Rangers centre defence outnumbered. On the half hour Hamish Wilde took the ball to the line and crossed to Meadows who put the shot over the bar. Late in the half the game became more and more heated as both teams pushed for the upper hand, and referee Michel Nillesen did well to keep a lid on things.
The second half started well for Rangers with a James Hart free kick having to be tipped over the bar by the Taupo goalkeeper. The visitors had to contend with some injury problems, but managed to keep eleven players on the field and doing just enough to combat Rangers play. Young Rangers attacker Elijah Wetting had several great runs at the defence, but it held firm. Late in the half, Rangers keeper Christian Wetting pulled off a fine double save to keep his team in with a chance, but the Taupo team hung on to grab a 1 – 0 win.
Hamish Wilde was named player of the day for his disciplined work in the new formation and for creating well when on the ball. Elijah Wetting and midfield maestro James Hart were also in top form. This Saturday Rangers men are away to Otumoetai.
On Sunday Plains Rangers women welcomed Rotorua side Waiariki, and ended up with an impressive win. In the first half Rangers passed the ball around in fine style, but didn't put any goals in the back of the net. That all changed in the second half though. The goals came flowing in through Dani Howard, Lily Muggeridge and Gemma Stuckey, who scored a hat-trick! Mariah Pepper had a good shot at goal too. The good work of coaches Sam McPherson and James Hart was seen through the impressive play of the team, with Rangers winning 5 - 0. Gemma Stuckey was named player of the day.
This Sunday Rangers women have their final game of the season, another home game, this time with Otumoetai the visitors.
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