Plains Rangers men were undone by conceding early goals at the start of each half, in their home game against Tauranga City New Blues.
The pitch conditions were good and Rangers came out with a game plan based on possession to take on their high scoring visitors. However, the Tauranga team were very sharp in their movements on attack and it brought them early reward with a goal. After five minutes Tauranga City broke through down Rangers right flank and a simple one-two pass created a good goal. The visitors threw quite a few numbers forward, trying to extend their advantage, but the Rangers defence held firm. The home team then got into a hard fought even battle and put together some slick passing moves of their own. Success came after half an hour. Hamish Wilde swung a ball in from the right. It was half cleared but striker Jesse Meadows intercepted and took a shot. The shot was blocked, but Meadows sent the home fans wild, using a bicycle kick to smash the bouncing ball over his head and into the net. Rangers pressed on and came close to extending their lead late in the half when Ben McPherson had a strong shot well saved. At the break the score was 1 – 1.
Unfortunately for Rangers, the second half started badly again. In the first minute, a Tauranga attacker was pushed in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. The penalty was put away confidently, to restore the visitors' lead. The rest of the game saw some good quality football, an enthralling contest. As the game wore on Tauranga resorted to slowing the game down at any opportunity to preserve their lead. Rangers had a late chance, when Phil Ballingall put a shot over the bar after good work from substitute Kobi Wetting, but Tauranga City hung on for a 2 – 1 win.
Rangers will be disappointed with the result but showed decent patches of good play. Left back Isaiah Davidson was named player of the day after a strong display, implementing the team's passing plans well. Young Ollie Fort continues to improve with each game, and Meadows was always dangerous up front.
This Saturday, Rangers men have a second round Miller Cup game, taking on first division side Otumoetai, away from home.
On Sunday Plains Rangers women played Papamoa Icons in windy, wet conditions at Papamoa. Rangers coped well with a fairly physical game, passing the ball around well and creating good shooting opportunities. Great teamwork set up the only goal of the game, scored by Ranger's midfielder Dani Howard, to secure a 1 – 0 win.
Player of the day was centre midfielder Danielle Haldane, who covered lots of territory and created lots of chances. Others to impress were: centre back Danielle Giordano, newcomer Olivia Ross, who contributed well, and Sarah Sheaff who stepped up and played goalkeeper.
This Sunday Rangers women are away to the top Papamoa team, the Legends.
Us vs Papamoa Icons 1-0
What a game of soccer we had, once again the wind came out to play and its mate the rain too but we did have mostly sunshine.
It was a very physical game, but we didnt let that stop us, we all took plenty of shots at the goal and passing that ball around it was all very impressive to see and watch.
We used the whole field to our advantage today.
It was great to see Dani Howard getting another goal today and just the team work it took to get that finally result.
Top game from everyone today Danielle Giordano great game in the centre backs.
Olivia Ross great first game you had.
Thanks you to Sarah Sheaff for stepping up and playing goalie today.
Player of the day goes to Danielle Haldane, what a game you had, you had plenty of goes at the goal and you were just all over the field and getting into everyrhing today, well done and we'll deserved.
Thanks ladies for a top game and you all should be proud of the effort we all put in to play.
See you all at training Wednesday night.
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