Rangers in dominant display at Merrilands
There was reason to celebrate in the clubrooms of New Plymouth Rangers Football Club at the completion of round two after a dominating display.
In the Central Football feature match, Rangers came out on top in a hard-fought battle against Wanganui Athletic at Merrilands Domain.
This fixture has quickly became a fierce rivalry for Rangers in the Lotto Federation League and this game was no different.
Rangers came out strong in the first half but couldn’t convert their chances and had to go in level at the break.
Goalkeepers Matt Calvert (Wanganui Athletic) and James Burroughs (Rangers) were outstanding and made several key saves to add to the frustrations of both teams.
The teams were very even and it was going to take a special moment to decide the game and take the points.
And special it was when the goal finally came for Rangers midway through the second half.
Taku Warren, making his debut for Rangers, pounced on a headedthrough ball from Ethan Bird to volley over Calvert from almost twenty metres.
The first time strike rose and then dipped under the bar to the delight of the home crowd.
Athletic pushed hard for an equaliser in the last twenty minutes but couldn’t find the net and the game finished at 1-0 to Rangers.
After two rounds, Rangers now sit on top of the table equal with North End AFC and will look to cement that placing away next weekend to bottom-placed Wanganui City.
Wanganui City are newly promoted to the Federation League and have had a tough start losing both their games.
City haven’t had trouble scoring goals, netting five so far but they have conceded nine and will need to stem the tide.
Rangers have kept two clean sheets so this match is shaping up to be another tight affair.
At a glance
April 21, Wanganui City v New Plymouth Rangers, Wembley Park, Wanganui, 2.45pm