Rangers AFC were unable to replicate their prolific goal-scoring feats of the first two rounds, but still got the job done against a tenacious Tahuna team in Nelson on Saturday.
The Marlborough-based outfit prevailed 1-0, maintaining their winning run and keeping them clear at the top of the standings.
Without skipper Jordy Columbus and Sam Pearson, plus player/coach Tore Waechter, who is injured but sat on the bench, they were down in numbers, and experience, but were good value for their win.
The scores were locked 0-0 at halftime, Rangers having spurned a couple of clear chances. The home side, whose busy goalkeeper was in fine form, took heart from the fact they were still in the contest but were unable to stop the decisive goal, which came midway through the second spell. A curling free kick into the area from Ollie Baker was tucked away by the prolific Adam Rose.
Rangers were denied what seemed a legitimate second goal late in the match, the referee signalling a goal then reversing his decision. However, the home side were on the wrong side of a contentious penalty call for hand ball in the box in the final minutes, which Waechter suggested could have gone either way.
Best of the Rangers side was Carl Connor-McClean, who ran hard up front, centre midfielder Scott Belsham, a fomer Tahuna player, skipper-for-the-day Liam Sluiter, Harrison Pine, in an unfamiliar left centre back role, plus midfielder Julian Delgado.
Next week Rangers are away gain, this time to Nelson College.
The second Marlborough-based side in a Nelson league, the
Liquid Action BV Bullets, also prevailed, but much more comfortably.
They met Nelson College at Little Wembley in Nelson and won 8-0.
The visitors scored regularly, first half doubles to Lauren Sloan and Riley Preece, plus goals to Abby Owen and Destiny Aires setting up a 6-0 halftime lead.
Barely 90 seconds into the second spell, a string of well-weighted passes helped McKenzie Adkins add to BV’s tally.
Two solid strikes from BV player of the day Williams were denied by the College keeper, but she was unable to keep out an unstoppable third strike for Bullets’ final goal.
Coach Ian Thomas credited the midfield and wings with creating multiple scoring opportunities and recognised an outstanding effort from the defence to close out Nelson opportunities.
On home soil, the Mayfield Motorworld division one and two competitions resumed after last week was washed out.
In divison one, Central Wolves notched a 4-1 win over Rangers Clubs of Marlborough, Richie Marsden, Paddy Stephens, Steve McCaa and Scott Wilkinson scoring Central’s goals. Matt Millar replied for Clubs.
BV Masters and Central Buccaneers fought out a 2-2 draw, Ben Clarke and Michael Jay scoring for Masters, a strike by J Ashman and an own goal grabbing a share of the spoils for Central.
The third game saw a 4-3 win by BV Cobras over Call Care Trojans. Paul Newport, Gustavo Cruz and Jack Morris scored for Trojans, while Nick Kerry, 2, A Aitken and Lincoln Ellsworth got on the scoreboard for the victors.
In division two, Rangers Development downed Trojans Dribbles 9-1, Call Care Spartans went down 1-4 to Picton Crow Tavern and Redwood Masters beat Central Privateers 3-1.