Plains Rangers FC

29 & 30 July 2023
Rangers men 3, Waiariki 1
Te Puke 5, Rangers women 0

The sun was beaming down on Saturday when Plains Rangers men hosted Waiariki at the Edgecumbe Domain. Rangers got off to a quick start, scoring with their first attack. A nicely weighted cross from Hamish Wilde beat the keeper and Jesse Meadows headed it home. The visitors were stung into action and launched a number of raids on the Rangers goal. Defender Isaiah Davidson did well to twice clear shots off his own goal line. Rangers struggled to get their link up play going, but the combinations improved when Christian Wetting and Earle Tuhimata came on late in the half. James Hart had a good shot blocked and Wetting had a powerful header well saved. Rangers led 1 – 0 at the break but knew they needed to up their game.
Waiariki also came out very determined in the second half and scored, pouncing on a poor clearance from defence. Rangers bounced back within minutes. Wilde passed the ball out to Elijah Wetting on the right flank and Wetting put a great pass across to Tuhimata on the edge of the visitors' penalty area. Tuhimata side-footed a super shot into the bottom left corner to regain the lead for his team. Waiariki continued to push hard and were dismayed when they had the ball in the net but were pulled back for a handball during the attack. Late in the game Rangers made the result safe. Young substitute Ollie Fort did well down the left, beating his man and getting into the penalty area. He pulled the ball back across goal for Wilde to tap in. The final score was a hard fought 3 – 1 win to Rangers.
Sam McPherson's strong work in the centre of the defence earned him player of the day. Isaiah Davidson also impressed, as did the contribution of the substitutes. This Saturday, Plains Rangers men are away to Tauranga City New Blues.
On Sunday Plains Rangers women had a tough away fixture at Te Puke. In great conditions, Rangers came out fighting and didn't back down to the second top team in the league. Rangers had a number of attacks, but just couldn't finish them off. In the end Te Puke took the game 5 – 0, but even the Te Puke coach acknowledged how well the visitors had played. The player of the day award went to defender Danielle Giordano who was excellent in the backline. Sarah Wigzell also shone, anticipating play well and sticking to her opponents like glue!
Rangers women will now wait to see the new split draw when it comes out, for their future games.

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