Thistle to face fast turnaround

Busy weekend, with away games tomorrow and Tuesday.

Busy weekend, with away games tomorrow and Tuesday.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Gisborne Thistle striker Josh Adams (left)battles for possesion with Palmerston North Marist leftback Troye Aitken. Adams was named man of the match after scoring one goal and setting up the other in a 2-0 win. Picture by Paul Rickard

GISBORNE Thistle players face a busy weekend, with a game tomorrow and one on Tuesday, both away.

The Jags take on Central Federation League title contenders Havelock North tomorrow, then meet Napier Marist in Napier in the preliminary round of New Zealand football’s premier knockout competition, the Chatham Cup.

“All we’re focused on at this stage is tomorrow’s match,” said Thistle coach Matt Hastings, whose side beat Palmerston North Marist 2-0 here last weekend.

“I know the Havelock coach, Chris Greatholder, having played alongside him at Napier City Rovers and been coached by him at Hawke’s Bay United.

“We’ve both got the same philosophy regarding the way we’d like the game to be played, which means tomorrow’s match should be an attacking game.

“Chris has retained the majority of his squad and, like me, he’s keen to promote young players. We know they can score goals; they beat Massey 7-2 last week.

“I believe we can score goals, so defending is going to be a key tomorrow. We need to transition quickly from attack to defence.”

Hastings said he was particularly pleased with his defence last week.

“We were defensively sound, restricting them (Marist) to shots from long range.

“The defensive stats were fantastic; they only had one shot inside the penalty area. But I wasn’t happy with the number of unopposed errors, especially when in possession. I want more control in that area.”

While happy with the three points, Hastings said he was considering a change in the playing formation, “nothing major, just a slight change to help combat Havelock’s quick-breaking midfielders”.

Thistle will be without Ander Batarrita for tomorrow’s game but the experienced leftback is available for the Cup game.

Thistle: Ryan Majstrovic, Olly Tilley, Matt McVey, Kieran Venema, Kieran Ryan, Liam Ryan, Jake Robertson, Malachi Scammell, Corey Adams, Josh Adams, Malcolm Marfell, Josh Harris, Nick Land, David Salmon, Mark Baple.

GISBORNE Thistle players face a busy weekend, with a game tomorrow and one on Tuesday, both away.

The Jags take on Central Federation League title contenders Havelock North tomorrow, then meet Napier Marist in Napier in the preliminary round of New Zealand football’s premier knockout competition, the Chatham Cup.

“All we’re focused on at this stage is tomorrow’s match,” said Thistle coach Matt Hastings, whose side beat Palmerston North Marist 2-0 here last weekend.

“I know the Havelock coach, Chris Greatholder, having played alongside him at Napier City Rovers and been coached by him at Hawke’s Bay United.

“We’ve both got the same philosophy regarding the way we’d like the game to be played, which means tomorrow’s match should be an attacking game.

“Chris has retained the majority of his squad and, like me, he’s keen to promote young players. We know they can score goals; they beat Massey 7-2 last week.

“I believe we can score goals, so defending is going to be a key tomorrow. We need to transition quickly from attack to defence.”

Hastings said he was particularly pleased with his defence last week.

“We were defensively sound, restricting them (Marist) to shots from long range.

“The defensive stats were fantastic; they only had one shot inside the penalty area. But I wasn’t happy with the number of unopposed errors, especially when in possession. I want more control in that area.”

While happy with the three points, Hastings said he was considering a change in the playing formation, “nothing major, just a slight change to help combat Havelock’s quick-breaking midfielders”.

Thistle will be without Ander Batarrita for tomorrow’s game but the experienced leftback is available for the Cup game.

Thistle: Ryan Majstrovic, Olly Tilley, Matt McVey, Kieran Venema, Kieran Ryan, Liam Ryan, Jake Robertson, Malachi Scammell, Corey Adams, Josh Adams, Malcolm Marfell, Josh Harris, Nick Land, David Salmon, Mark Baple.

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