Spring and autumn for strikers

STRIKERS in the spring and autumn of their careers took the eye in Eastern League Division 1 football on Saturday.

Teenage striker Josh Adams, just setting out on his senior career, scored two goals and had a hand in the other two as Heavy Equipment United beat Carpet Court Thistle Reserves 4-2 at Harry Barker Reserve.

Meanwhile, Thistle Massive striker and player-coach David Ure, now in the veteran stages of a career that has included Central League football in Wellington, scored four goals in his side’s 8-4 victory over Wainui Sharks at Wainui.

On the Rectory field, Gisborne Boys’ High School attacking midfielder Riaki Ruru and striker Jirah Wanoa scored the goals in a hard-fought 2-1 win against Shipwreck Bohemians.

The results leave United still seven points clear at the top of the table. They have four games to go, two against Wainui and one each against Boys’ High and Bohemians. Two wins will clinch it.

Adams opened the scoring for United on Saturday. Rightback Matt McFatter launched a huge throw from midway in Thistle’s half towards the near post. United midfielder Craig Christophers nodded it back towards the penalty spot and Adams volleyed it home.

Five minutes later, Adams drove a left-wing corner low to midfielder Aaron Graham on the edge of the penalty area. He controlled it and hit a screamer into the top right corner from 20 metres.

United had started the game well but Thistle fought back, with some good play down the left flank featuring PJ Goodlett and Ian Cutler.

Goodlett scored first, with a hard, low shot that looked headed to the left of the goal until it hit the Harry Barker Reserve turf and seemed to spin a metre before it sneaked in at the post.

Cutler equalised to make the halftime score 2-2.

Adams set up United’s third when he burst down the left flank in the 65th minute and shot towards the far post.

Thistle goalkeeper Ryan Majstrovic could only palm it out and United striker and player-coach Stu Cranswick was on hand to finish from close range.

Adams clinched the result with another strong run down the left and a belter that went in at the far post.

He had shifted back to a left-flank midfield role 15 minutes into the second half, taking the place of his father, Chris, who had pulled a hamstring.

Kim Perano, who had already played for the seconds, came on for Chris Adams and played up front alongside Cranswick.

Graham was United’s man of the match for another tireless performance in central midfield. Christophers and Josh Adams also shone.

Galloway on

Ben Galloway, making his last appearance in a United shirt before moving to Auckland on a job transfer, came on for McFatter with 10 minutes to go, having already played for the thirds.

Thistle had started the second half with promise. Sam Patterson and Cutler were causing problems down the flanks, but United’s defence held firm.

Thistle had only one reserve, Roger Faber, who had just come from a game for Thistle Vintage, and players felt the pace in the latter stages.

The Wainui-Thistle Massive game was finely balanced at halftime, Massive ahead 3-2 after Wainui had given them an early shock with a Matt Smith goal almost straight from the kick-off.

Ure equalised in the 20th minute. Twin striker Nic Somerton turned his marker in the penalty area and squared the ball to Ure, who tapped in from five metres.

Two minutes later, Thistle right-flank player Hector Araya got the ball about halfway and went on a run infield. He was 25 metres out when he hit a curling left-footed shot into the top left corner

Then Wainui midfielder Smith tackled a Thistle defender and hit the post with his shot, and Ricky Boyd scored from the rebound . . . 2-2.

Five minutes before the break, a Thistle cross from the left was half cleared and central midfielder Shannon Dowsing volleyed the ball low into the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Luck favoured Ure when he put Thistle 4-2 up five minutes into the second half. Somerton hit an early ball in from the right and as Ure tried to control it in the penalty area, his first touch took it past onrushing Wainui keeper Andy Daubé. Ure was first to the ball and tapped it in.

Ure’s penalty made it 5-2 after Daubé was judged to have fouled Somerton.

Wainui got a goal back but Thistle restored the three-goal gap with Emerson Araya’s header following a short corner.

Wainui scored again through Blaise Houston-Amor to close it to 6-4 before Brad Reynolds and Ure completed the scoring. For his last strike, Ure pulled away from the goal to receive Chris Spurr’s cutback. As Wainui player-coach Michael Smith tried to close down the shot, Ure turned and finished with his left foot.

For Wainui, Bruno Machado and Houston-Amor did well on the left and right flanks respectively, and Jimmy Lawrence was solid at leftback.

Emerson Araya was Massive’s man of the match for his constructive play going forward from rightback. His brother Hector was always a threat on the right flank, while Somerton and Ure worked well together up front. Reynolds also rated a mention for coming on in central midfield from halftime and giving a good account of himself.

Boys’ High coach Darren Larkins was pleased with his whole side after their 2-1 victory over Bohemians.

The Bohs had gone up after three minutes when they rode their luck with a 25-metre speculative shot from Caleb Craig.

Boys’ High equalised after 43 minutes when, from six metres, Ruru put the finishing touch to a flowing passing move.

Three minutes after halftime, Wanoa ran on to a through-ball from holding midfielder Noy Paull and slotted it home.

Boys’ High welcomed back Reuben Mottart after a three-week absence from the team due to work commitments. He impressed with penetrating runs forward and solid defence at rightback.

Paull and right midfielder Jack Fenn also shone in a good team performance.

The Bohs’ Eru Rawiri was the busier keeper, and the Boys’ High tally could have been higher but for his efforts. Bohs midfielder Steve White also played well.

Division 2: Riverina 3 United (2) 1, Three Rivers Medical Bohemians Development 1 Thistle Vintage 3, GBHS (2) 2 Wainui Demons 5, Bohemians Social 4 QRS Wairoa Athletic 5.

Division 3: GBHS (3) 0 Campion College 5, United (3) 3 Ngatapa Silkies 0, Lytton High School 4 Liquid Thistle Allsorts 0. Bye: Smash Palace Shockers.

Women: Campion College 3 Ritana Raiders 0, Heavy Equipment United 4 Gisborne Laundry Services Riverina 0, Gisborne Girls’ High School 0 Tatapouri Marist Thistle 3.

STRIKERS in the spring and autumn of their careers took the eye in Eastern League Division 1 football on Saturday.

Teenage striker Josh Adams, just setting out on his senior career, scored two goals and had a hand in the other two as Heavy Equipment United beat Carpet Court Thistle Reserves 4-2 at Harry Barker Reserve.

Meanwhile, Thistle Massive striker and player-coach David Ure, now in the veteran stages of a career that has included Central League football in Wellington, scored four goals in his side’s 8-4 victory over Wainui Sharks at Wainui.

On the Rectory field, Gisborne Boys’ High School attacking midfielder Riaki Ruru and striker Jirah Wanoa scored the goals in a hard-fought 2-1 win against Shipwreck Bohemians.

The results leave United still seven points clear at the top of the table. They have four games to go, two against Wainui and one each against Boys’ High and Bohemians. Two wins will clinch it.

Adams opened the scoring for United on Saturday. Rightback Matt McFatter launched a huge throw from midway in Thistle’s half towards the near post. United midfielder Craig Christophers nodded it back towards the penalty spot and Adams volleyed it home.

Five minutes later, Adams drove a left-wing corner low to midfielder Aaron Graham on the edge of the penalty area. He controlled it and hit a screamer into the top right corner from 20 metres.

United had started the game well but Thistle fought back, with some good play down the left flank featuring PJ Goodlett and Ian Cutler.

Goodlett scored first, with a hard, low shot that looked headed to the left of the goal until it hit the Harry Barker Reserve turf and seemed to spin a metre before it sneaked in at the post.

Cutler equalised to make the halftime score 2-2.

Adams set up United’s third when he burst down the left flank in the 65th minute and shot towards the far post.

Thistle goalkeeper Ryan Majstrovic could only palm it out and United striker and player-coach Stu Cranswick was on hand to finish from close range.

Adams clinched the result with another strong run down the left and a belter that went in at the far post.

He had shifted back to a left-flank midfield role 15 minutes into the second half, taking the place of his father, Chris, who had pulled a hamstring.

Kim Perano, who had already played for the seconds, came on for Chris Adams and played up front alongside Cranswick.

Graham was United’s man of the match for another tireless performance in central midfield. Christophers and Josh Adams also shone.

Galloway on

Ben Galloway, making his last appearance in a United shirt before moving to Auckland on a job transfer, came on for McFatter with 10 minutes to go, having already played for the thirds.

Thistle had started the second half with promise. Sam Patterson and Cutler were causing problems down the flanks, but United’s defence held firm.

Thistle had only one reserve, Roger Faber, who had just come from a game for Thistle Vintage, and players felt the pace in the latter stages.

The Wainui-Thistle Massive game was finely balanced at halftime, Massive ahead 3-2 after Wainui had given them an early shock with a Matt Smith goal almost straight from the kick-off.

Ure equalised in the 20th minute. Twin striker Nic Somerton turned his marker in the penalty area and squared the ball to Ure, who tapped in from five metres.

Two minutes later, Thistle right-flank player Hector Araya got the ball about halfway and went on a run infield. He was 25 metres out when he hit a curling left-footed shot into the top left corner

Then Wainui midfielder Smith tackled a Thistle defender and hit the post with his shot, and Ricky Boyd scored from the rebound . . . 2-2.

Five minutes before the break, a Thistle cross from the left was half cleared and central midfielder Shannon Dowsing volleyed the ball low into the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Luck favoured Ure when he put Thistle 4-2 up five minutes into the second half. Somerton hit an early ball in from the right and as Ure tried to control it in the penalty area, his first touch took it past onrushing Wainui keeper Andy Daubé. Ure was first to the ball and tapped it in.

Ure’s penalty made it 5-2 after Daubé was judged to have fouled Somerton.

Wainui got a goal back but Thistle restored the three-goal gap with Emerson Araya’s header following a short corner.

Wainui scored again through Blaise Houston-Amor to close it to 6-4 before Brad Reynolds and Ure completed the scoring. For his last strike, Ure pulled away from the goal to receive Chris Spurr’s cutback. As Wainui player-coach Michael Smith tried to close down the shot, Ure turned and finished with his left foot.

For Wainui, Bruno Machado and Houston-Amor did well on the left and right flanks respectively, and Jimmy Lawrence was solid at leftback.

Emerson Araya was Massive’s man of the match for his constructive play going forward from rightback. His brother Hector was always a threat on the right flank, while Somerton and Ure worked well together up front. Reynolds also rated a mention for coming on in central midfield from halftime and giving a good account of himself.

Boys’ High coach Darren Larkins was pleased with his whole side after their 2-1 victory over Bohemians.

The Bohs had gone up after three minutes when they rode their luck with a 25-metre speculative shot from Caleb Craig.

Boys’ High equalised after 43 minutes when, from six metres, Ruru put the finishing touch to a flowing passing move.

Three minutes after halftime, Wanoa ran on to a through-ball from holding midfielder Noy Paull and slotted it home.

Boys’ High welcomed back Reuben Mottart after a three-week absence from the team due to work commitments. He impressed with penetrating runs forward and solid defence at rightback.

Paull and right midfielder Jack Fenn also shone in a good team performance.

The Bohs’ Eru Rawiri was the busier keeper, and the Boys’ High tally could have been higher but for his efforts. Bohs midfielder Steve White also played well.

Division 2: Riverina 3 United (2) 1, Three Rivers Medical Bohemians Development 1 Thistle Vintage 3, GBHS (2) 2 Wainui Demons 5, Bohemians Social 4 QRS Wairoa Athletic 5.

Division 3: GBHS (3) 0 Campion College 5, United (3) 3 Ngatapa Silkies 0, Lytton High School 4 Liquid Thistle Allsorts 0. Bye: Smash Palace Shockers.

Women: Campion College 3 Ritana Raiders 0, Heavy Equipment United 4 Gisborne Laundry Services Riverina 0, Gisborne Girls’ High School 0 Tatapouri Marist Thistle 3.

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