Plains Rangers FC

20 & 21 April 2024
Rangers men 2, Waiariki
1
Lakes Development FC 5, Rangers women
1

Plains Rangers men had their first win of the season on Saturday, when they hosted Waiariki from Rotorua at the Edgecumbe Domain. Steady rain throughout the game made for some extra challenges for the players, and credit goes to the reasonable crowd of supporters who braved the wet. It turned into a fast-flowing game, with the ball whizzing across the slick surface. Rangers tried to pass the ball around, while Waiariki used the through-ball as their main method of attack. Christian Wetting is a master at getting off his line to mop up through-balls, and gradually his team gained the ascendancy. Hamish Wilde had a shot well saved at the near post. Captain James Hart put a header narrowly wide from a corner. Late in the half Elias Thomas pressurized the visiting defence, nicked the ball off them and slid it into the goal. A minute late Russell Margan almost doubled the lead but his shot was saved. At half time Rangers led 1 – 0.
Early in the second half Margan won his team a penalty when his heels were clipped in the penalty area. Wetting stepped up to take the kick, but it was well saved by the Waiariki keeper. Midway through the half, Thomas doubled the Rangers lead. Teimana Awhimate played a good ball out of defence, it was gathered by Thomas, he beat two players and slotted the ball past the keeper. Waiariki turned up the heat trying to get back into the game and five minutes later caught out the Rangers defence with a ball straight down the middle, which was hammered into the top corner. Rangers almost renewed their advantage when Thomas had a great run down the line and pulled the ball across goal, but Wilde put the chance wide. Waiariki, bounced back and hit the post. There were quite a few willing tackles in the final minutes, and one of the visitors was red carded by Referee Dave Taylor late in the piece. The final result was Plains Rangers 2, Waiariki 1.
Elias Thomas was named player of the day for Rangers. Others to impress included Sam McPherson, Isaiah Davidson and Shane Baillie. The goalkeepers of both teams also made some top saves in the slippery conditions. This Saturday Rangers men are at home to high-fliers Tauranga City Juggernauts in the Miller Cup. Kick off at the Edgecumbe Domain is at 2.30pm.

On Sunday Plains Rangers women travelled to play unbeaten Lakes FC in the BOP Women's League. The conditions in Rotorua were sunny. Rangers gave a good account of themselves, working hard, making some good shoulder-to-shoulder challenges and playing with determination. Kiahli Lambert was welcomed back to the team and did well to score in her first game back. The strong Lakes team eventually won 5 – 1. Alex Puutu-Dredge was player of the day, putting in a lot of running, chasing the loose ball and making some good plays. The Rangers women will be proud of their efforts.
This coming weekend Rangers women have no game scheduled.

Ranee's report: Us VS Lakes, 1-5

Was a nice sunny day to be playing soccer today.
Welcome back to Kiahli and great first game for you for the season. First game, first goal of the season.
The whole game we all had our good and not so good moments, however that is what makes you want to do better next time. We held our own and never gave up.
This game was an even game of play all over the pitch, lots of work put in by all players. Lots of shoulder to shoulder battles taking place, lots of movement up and down the field, some hard hits took place.
Congratulation to Alex on getting player of day, you had a great game, lots of running, making plays with the ball and chasing up the loss ball.
I'm taking some words of wisdom from Rose, "We know it wasn't the outcome we wanted but proud of us going out there and doing it.
"


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