Every second counts...

Do you want the good news or the bad news? The bad news is New Plymouth Rangers’ Federation League campaign ended with a 3-1 home loss to a spirited Massey at Merrilands today. The good news is that because, in this remarkably inconsistent league, reports came through immediately after the game that Gisborne Thistle had walloped Wanganui Athletic 5-1, Rangers celebrated finishing its inaugural season in second place. And bearing in mind the struggles the club has had in fielding an extra team this season, with resources stretched, that’s no mean feat. Remember that Team Taranaki, which employs a full complement of Rangers payers most weekends, took several years to get out of this league and back into the Central League. The other good news was that in the Taranaki Premier League Rangers (and Matt Goodey) grabbed two late goals to beat Peringa 3-1 after a great strike from Finn Peters had levelled matters. Peringa had earlier taken the lead from the penalty spot. The main game saw Rangers dominate possession but fail to make it count, threatening only sporadically with the occasional cross. Massey were well organised at the back, worked hard in midfield and capitalised on some careless use of the ball by the home side. The young student side was also more clinical in front of goal, netting its first chance of the match after 23 minutes through Luke Bryenton and going in one up at half time. It got worse for Rangers in the second when they conceded a second through Cole Freeman after 61 minutes and when Patrick Thomson was left free in the box to nod home a third 11 minutes later, the game was over. Sam De St Croix saw his goal-a-game record end when Rangers last played at Merrilands and with a couple of minutes to go it looked as though the streak would extend to three games. But the Hamilton Wanderers bound import obliged with a consolation goal in the 90th minute. Massey were fine guests on an off the park, and it was warming to see their coach Don Piper successfully argue that a tackle by a Rangers man was not worthy of a yellow card. Piper also holds an admin role with Central Football and took the opportunity to present our Sam with his Golden Boot medal as the league’s top scorer with 25. In Division1 Rangers were beaten by Western while the Oddbodz disposed of Waitara 3-0 thanks to goals from George Wareing, Josh Barrett and Ross Lewis. Monty Ammundsen and Will Hong (2) scored Rangers goals in a 3-1 Division 2 win over Waitara – and both then put in a shift for the Premiers. Sadly, we don’t have any pics of Monty’s latest goal, but we will seek an interview with him if there is sufficient demand from fans.

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