Blenheim Valley Cobras inflicted the first defeat on Rangers AFC this season, beating the first round Marlborough division one football champions 3-2 at Athletic Park on Saturday.
Cobras struck first when a corner by Take Thu beat the defence to sneak in to the far top corner. Rangers replied through a well-directed header by Sam Pearson to level the scores at half time.
After the break the Rangers’ defence brought down winger George Timos in the box and midfielder Lincoln Elsworth calmly slotted the penalty.
Cobras stepped up the speed and bagged a third goal on the break to replacement forward Cam Lang with 20 minutes to go. A long pass from Take Thu was deflected by Rangers’ defender Connor Endersby and Lang pounced to chip the keeper.
In the last few minutes of regular time Adam Rose grabbed Rangers’ second and they hit the crossbar, but Cobras were able to hang on for a win, with Rangers coach John Denmark suggesting they “wanted it more on the day”.
Cobras’ coach, Glen Proffit, was pleased with what he described as “a complete team effort”, but mentioned Tom Mathews and captain Hayden Giles for outstanding efforts.
“Our defence was solid and we worked as a unit which allowed some great counter-attacking opportunities that we were able to capitalise on. It was very even for much of the game,” he added.
In the other division one encounter, Blenheim Valley Marlborough Boys’ College defeated Central Pirates 4-2.
MBC led 3-0 at halftime, Shinji Mikame scoring twice with Jonty Pinkerton picking up a goal from a shot on the 18 yard box to make it three.
In the second spell Pirates got on the board through an Andrew McCaa penalty before Mikame claimed his hat-trick from a Jack Wilkin-fed free kick. Pirates got a second through Chris Turkington after a clever long ball into the box.
MBC coach Gareth Pugh said, “College played perhaps the most accurate football they have played through the year with width and good shape in both defence and attack.”
“Dan Diamond distributed the ball well from goalkeeper which launched some promising attacks.
“It was good to see the boys play with creativity and the conviction to persevere with their principles of play.”
Next week Cobras play Pirates and Wolves meet Rangers.
The BV Bullets women’s side met Nelson Suburbs in a Nelson division one clash at A and P Park on Saturday and came away with a 1-1 draw.
The game began with an early goal to Suburbs’ Juanita Powder, a stray ball chipped in against the run of play, but the remainder of the half saw the majority of territory and possession with Bullets.
The first 15 minutes of the second spell consisted almost entirely of BV attack but some superb passages of play – including a lengthy run and strike from Ruby Smith – were denied time and again by the expert hands of Suburbs’ keeper, Tia Muddle.
BV peppered the goal with more than 30 strikes over the course of the game but a goal proved elusive until the dying seconds when a powerful strike by Ruby Wybourne soared into the top corner of the net.
Tessa Hyland turned on an excellent performance – leading by example in midfield and at left back, while Ruby Smith and Taz Gilbert also shone. Player of the day was goal-scorer Wybourne.