The lesson plan grew even more for the Havelock North Wanderers in front of a decent crowd at the village in Hastings today.

The Wanderers kept Miramar Rangers scoreless in the first half before the Wellingtonians came away with a 2-0 victory in their round three Ultra Football Central League soccer match at Guthrie Park.

The defining moment came three minutes into the second spell when Havelock North player Harry Fautley got his marching orders off the field from referee Jason Marshall after the leftback got into a tussle with Rangers right winger James Barclay.

It was Fautley's second yellow-card offence as he, Rangers coach Scott Hales and Barclay exchanged heated words near their benches on the sideline.

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Referee's assistant, Gordon Harris, intervened to stop the situation from flaring into anything bigger before Marshall ran up to explain that Fautley was sent off for "swearing at a player".

Miramar player Ruairi Cahill-Fleury had left the field with a bloody nose in the 53rd minute to even both sides to 10 men each for the next five minutes but returned five minutes later after bleeding stopped in a fresh No 17 shirt to ensure the visitors pressed high.

They drew first blood, 1-0, in the 71st minute when rightback Finn Moore exploited his flank all the way up before deftly putting a cross into the 18m box for substitute striker Merlin Luke-Miny to crisply push it past Wanderers goal keeper Shaun Peta.

"It's not done yet," Hales barked from the sidelines to captain/centre Aleem Sheik as they celebrated.

The second goal, in the 84th minute, came from an adroit penalty kick from Barclay after Havelock North skipper Ethan Dent, a centre mid, fouled former Napier Marist player Josh Murphy in the 18m box.

The hosts had created just as many chances and should have put the ball into the net at least on three occasions.

Kurtis Maney and Chris Greatholder's efforts sailed over the crossbar from about 20m out while a few seconds before halftime Liam Shackleton, having latched on to a Greatholder through ball didn't pull the trigger quick enough as defender Patrick Tobin got his foot in.

From the ensuing cornerkick, Vinnie MacKirdy had a golden opportunity but his finish from about 8m in line with the left upright was too feeble as the ball rolled past the timber.

Havelock North Wanderers help goalkeeper Shaun Peta put up the storm shutters against Miramar Rangers at Guthrie Park, Hastings, today. Photo/Duncan Brown
Havelock North Wanderers help goalkeeper Shaun Peta put up the storm shutters against Miramar Rangers at Guthrie Park, Hastings, today. Photo/Duncan Brown

In fairness to Miramar, they also had equally good chances to Quinton Kipara (18th minute), Dominic Rowe (21st) before referee's assistant, Liam O'Rorke, flagged offside a goal from Kipara after Henry Lenihan-Geels and Forbes Nyatsanza did all the hard work with a couple of crisp one-two moves from throw in just inside their half.

Dent said it was a big occasion for the Wanderers to be hosting their first game in almost 13 years and they were mindful of the reputation of the Rangers.

"In the first 45 minutes we've actually battled hard and won the physical battle to give a good account of ourselves.

"I think red cards change matches and that's been the case today. I think they played a bit more when we were down to 10 so they probably didn't play as much when it was 11 v 11," he said although no sure what transpired in the sending off.

However, Dent said good teams tended to do take advantage, which Miramar did, so they were going to move on to their next game away against Lower Hutt City AFC on Saturday.

He said it would be nice to score their first goal in the league as newbies to get the monkey of their backs but if they weren't creating chances to score then it would have been a concern.

"We'll score. When we do the points will come as well so we've just got to keep believing and there's a big belief in this group that we belong in the Central League. We've proven that today," Dent said, proud to have matched a "big team in the country".

Hales said with Greatholder, Dion Adams and Bruce Barclay coaching Miramar expected an organised outfit today.

"There were stages there where they have given local players an opportunity to play so that's great to see.

"They were hard to break down so they're a well-organised team and they will pick up points this season."

Hales felt in Miramar's possession-based style of game they had had a lion's share of the ball in the first half but with the Wanderers a player down they took advantage.

"It was always going to be tough but they've really dug in and made it really for us to get three points."

He said the Rangers would bolster some firepower akin to other teams in the league but today it was about showcasing the talent of youngsters in the premier winter league.

"The main aim for me this season was to make the 17 and 18-year-olds are able to play in Central League just as Havelock North are trying to do as well.

"It's a credit to both teams that they are focusing on the game in the country rather than just on the Central League," said Hales.