New Plymouth Rangers suffered its darkest day since its promotion into the Lotto Federation League on Saturday when it met North End AFC in Palmerston North. Both teams were tied in second place going into the match and no one could’ve predicted what followed. The outcome was a 9-3 victory to North End who put on a display of fast counter attacking football that Rangers couldn’t negate.
Rangers actually started the game well scoring after less than twenty seconds, before their opponents even touched the ball. Niall Leggett, captaining for the day in the absence of usual captain Wade Randle, controlled the ball on the left side of the box and finished past a shell shocked North End keeper. This set the tone for a very open match with both teams having many opportunities to score. North End found an equaliser but then two more goals to Peter Kelbrick and Dom Squatriti put Rangers 3-1 up.
This seemed to spur North End on who put in eight unanswered goals to send Rangers packing on their three hour drive back home. This game was the third away trip for Rangers in the space of a week with the time on the road and on the field finally catching up on them.
Rangers coach Mal Bourgoise was making no excuses however. “We just let them play and they dominated us”
“It is a real wake up call for our young squad who just weren’t up to it on Saturday”
Rangers are back at home this weekend against a resurgent Hokowhitu FC and will be hoping to get their campaign back on track.
Other results from the Lotto Federation League
Wanganui Athletic 6-0 Massey University
PN Marist 1-0 Red Sox Manawatu
Hokowhitu 6-3 Wanganui City
To soften the blow, all other Rangers teams won over the weekend including a strong 9-0 win to our women’s team with Paige Adams scoring six goals to bring her tally to nine for the season.
Rangers Premiership 1-0 NPBHS
Rangers Championship 4-0 NPBHS
Rangers Division 1 4-0 Peringa
Rangers Division 2 4-0 Waitara
Rangers Women 9-0 Stratford
Taranaki Premiership Results
Moturoa 2-0 Peringa
Hawera 2-2 Eltham
Inglewood 0-2 FDMC
Woodleigh 0-5 FC Western
NP Rangers 1-0 NPBHS