The Plains Rangers Football Club had a successful weekend, securing two wins out of two.
On Saturday Rangers men travelled to play Waiariki at Rotorua and the teams did well to play some good football in the conditions. Rangers had the strong winds and steady rain at their backs in the first half. It looked like Rangers might have an easy day when Ben McPherson hit the crossbar in the first minute, but the home team soon got into gear and had a goal ruled out for offside midway through the half. Both teams traded chances until Rangers really started getting their attacks flowing late in the half. Phil Ballingall had a header saved. Earle Tuhimata, making a welcome return from a long-term injury, had a fierce left foot drive brilliantly saved by the Waiariki keeper. Two minutes before the break Rangers finally scored. A Ben McPherson shot was parried by the keeper and Ballingall was on hand to tap it into the net, giving the visitors a 1 – 0 lead at half time.
Plains Rangers started the second half strongly and looked to have earned a penalty after nine minutes when the skilful Tuhimata seemed to have been taken out in the box. However, no freekick was forthcoming and the battle continued. After twenty minutes a Waiariki attacker did well to round a Rangers defender and create a goal from close range. The home team jubilation was short-lived however. Rangers came straight back, when player-coach Christian Wetting drew the defenders and laid the ball off to skipper James Hart. Hart looped a fine shot over the stranded keeper to regain the lead for his team. Waiariki pushed hard to grab another equaliser, but the defence, led by Sam McPherson held firm and keeper Josiah Atkinson was very sound with his handling in the challenging conditions. Rangers took the game 2 – 1.
Ben McPherson was named player of the day for a strong effort in the midfield. This Saturday Rangers welcome the free-scoring Tauranga City New Blues to the Edgecumbe Domain. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.
On Sunday, Plains Rangers women managed to scrape a team together for their home game against Otumoetai. The Edgecumbe Domain was sunny, but a strong crosswind added some challenges. Despite missing several regulars, Rangers got some good passing moves going and soon gained the lion's share of possession. The hard work and skills of Dani Howard created the best moments for the home team and late in the half the first reward came. A strong shot from Howard was blocked on the Otumoetai line and young Lily Muggeridge did well to force it into the goal to score her first goal in senior football. Rangers led 1 – 0 at the break.
Rangers stepped up the pressure in the second half, despite not being able to make substitutions. The visitors' keeper did well to make a brave save at Howard's feet and the defenders cleared the follow-up shot off the line. Soon after, Rangers doubled their lead when a defender handled the ball and Howard slotted the penalty confidently. Midway through the half Dani Howard scored a cracker of the goal. Midfielder Dee Haldane put a great pass through for Howard who beat two defenders and found space to beat the keeper. With five minutes to go, Howard completed a hat-trick, robbing an unfortunate defender to score. The final score: Plains Rangers 4, Otumoetai 0.
The outstanding Dani Howard was named player of the day. Others to impress were Danielle Giordano, who was strong in defence, Sarah Wigzell, who played in goal while injured and Lily Muggeridge, who was part of some good passing moves. This Sunday, Rangers women are away to Papamoa Icons.
Us vs Otumoetai, 4 - 0
From going from 13 players to 12 players then to 11 players an hour before the game, we played like we had a full side line of subs today. A big thank you goes out to Nikki Butler for answering the SOS call and coming and playing today. We all very much appreciated it, sorry we made you run when you asked not to run .
Ladies we made it our game today, from our passing game to our running with the ball, to covering and helping our injured teammates out. We put it all out there and it all showed by the final score and how we played as a team, you should all be proud of yourselves today.
Thank you Sarah Wigzell for playing goalie second half so we had that sub to use and nice punch out of the ball too ⚽.
Our centre mids you guys had a tough game, however your passing game was on point and just moving that ball around the field was great to watch.
Lily Muggeridge amazing game you had today. Lots of running you did and coming back and helping out as well, and a great touch on the ball for a goal, well done.
A big thanks to our injured players that stayed on the field and kept playing. Rest up, go to physio if need be and see you next week. Player of the day goes to Dani Howard. You had an absolute amazing game today from getting 3 goals to all that running and amazing passing work in the centre mids. It was great to watch it all.
A big congratulations to you all ladies. Amazing game and big pats on the backs to you all.
See you all at training Wednesday night.
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