It may have taken them 120 minutes, but Rangers AFC finally got the job done against Nelson visitors Richmond at A and P Park on Saturday.
The match ended 4-2 to the local side, after scores were level 2-2 at fulltime. That result counted for the Nelson division one league competition, which Rangers are leading but, because the match doubled as a Prices Charity Knockout Cup fixture, the sides were forced to play 30 minutes of extra time.
Two goals to Rangers ensured they would progress to the final of the cup competition, with a date yet to be confirmed and against an unknown opponent.
Rangers’ player coach Tore Waechter said his side had plenty of chances to put the game away during regulation time, but were ultimately happy to retain their unbeaten league record and reach the cup final.
Especially galling for the locals was the fact Richmond were reduced to 10 men early in the second spell when one of their players received a second yellow card, then later went down to nine for 10 minutes when the visitors had a player sin-binned.
The home side were slow getting into the match, Richmond taking a 1-0 lead into halftime, however Waechter levelled the scores after 60 minutes when he converted a penalty.
The introduction of Adam Rose and Aaron Hayes soon afterwards seemed to lift the home side, and they took the lead with a Jono Masters goal five minutes later.
Despite dominating possession and having multiple chances to extend their lead, Rangers conceded a late goal following a goalmouth scramble, with some debate over whether the ball actually crossed the line.
However, that meant the league points were shared, the players then turning their attention to winning the elongated match.
Rangers made no mistake this time, Waechter scoring his second and Adam Rose adding another to ensure there would be no late slip-up.
Waechter was named player of the day, while Rose, Hayes, skipper Jordy Columbus and Julian Delgado put in strong shifts.
Next week Rangers play closest rival, Nelson FC, in Nelson and, although the Blenheim side lead the league by four points, this could prove a pivotal clash.
Meanwhile, there was no stopping the BV Bullets women’s team this week as they turned on a master class of football at A&P Park on Saturday.
They converted a 3-0 halftime lead into a 5-0 victory against Nelson Suburbs.
Two goals to the prolific Lauren Sloan, and one to Freya Thompson allowed the home side some breathing space at the break.
And there was no let up from BV in the second half. A pinpoint cross from Thompson to striker Lucy Martin was sent flying into the net for Bullets’ fourth, then she added another to complete what coach Alan Elvy described as “a very pleasing all round performance”.
The coaches praised Thompson’s creativity and work rate, while player of the day went to Tessa Hyland for her vision, and tireless contribution in midfield.
Also contested on Saturday was the second round of the senior Knockout Cup competition, with the four cup semi-finalists being decided.
Next week Central Wolves will play BV Masters, while Central Buccaneers will take on Call Care Trojans for a place in the final, to be played on September 5.
On Saturday Wolves got the better of a gutsy Rangers Development side 2-1 courtesy of an extra time goal to defender Nick Rayner, BV Masters beat Redwood Masters 7-1, Trojans downed Rangers Clubs of Marlborough 6-0 while Central Buccaneers beat club mates Central Privateers 4-1.
Thom Hall, Joel Collingwood and Scott Hannan scored first half goals for Buccaneers, Nate Lovell grabbing their fourth, while Josh Dalziel scored a consolation for Privateers.