New Plymouth Rangers continued their winning streak in the Taranaki premier grade football competition with a 5-1 win over Woodleigh at the Merrilands Domain in New Plymouth on Saturday.
The success stretched Rangers' unbeaten run in the top club league to an impressive 26 games since towards the end of the 2010 season. In that time they have scored 108 goals and leaked just 14.
In their latest victory, Rangers were caught napping early when Woodleigh striker Matt Ander slipped a goal past their defence in the opening minute of the game.
The home side soon regained their composure however and enjoyed the bulk of possession to take control of the match.
The goal scorers for the home side were Scott Smith (2), captain Matt Goodey, Vance Hoskins and Finn Peters.
Coming off the bench in the first half for Rangers was ex-Manawatu Youngheart midfielder Nathan Hill, who is back from Sydney where he has been playing in a New South Wales club competition.
Inglewood secured their first point of the season, drawing 2-2 with Francis Douglas Memorial College.
Two first-half goals to Sam Brailsford had the hosts in control at halftime, but Inglewood, with coach Graham Reive playing in goal, battled back to share the points with goals through Joel Stewart and Michael Reive.
The game changed course in the second half with Francis Douglas losing two key players to injury.
Inglewood grew in confidence but still didn't look threatening while Francis Douglas squandered no fewer than four good goal scoring opportunities through poor finishing.
Inglewood pulled a goal back after 20 minutes with a long range Michael Reive free-kick that curved and dipped in the wind on the goalie who couldn't keep it out.
With five minutes left on the clock, Joel Stewart headed home the side's second goal.
Western FC are the big improvers in the competition, stringing together seven straight wins with a comfortable 5-0 win over New Plymouth Boys' High School's first XI at New Plymouth's Lynmouth Park.
The feature of the game was a hat-trick by man of the match Jarrod Winter.
Striker Andy Moore had a good game and scored a brace of goals.
Western dominated play, but were only up 1-0 at halftime despite creating numerous opportunities.
Credit must go to the school side, who proved resilient for most of the game before the pressure took its toll in the final 20 minutes when Western scored three goals.
In other matches of the round, Eltham sneaked home 1-0 ahead of Moturoa and Peringa scored a comfortable 5-1 victory over Hawera Prems.
The feature match of the next round on Saturday will be the clash between table topping Rangers and Western at Lynmouth Park.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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