Attack-defence contest looms

Thistle could be travelling light to take on Eskview challenge.

Thistle could be travelling light to take on Eskview challenge.

United striker Josh Adams (right) will be a key man in tomorrow’s match against Napier City Rovers Seconds in Napier. Picture by Paul Rickard

The best attack against the best defence in the Pacific Premiership . . . that’s the top-of-the-table football match between Heavy Equipment Gisborne United and Napier City Rovers Seconds in Napier tomorrow.

OK, so it’s only two games into the competition, but Napier have won both and not conceded a goal.

United have also won both games, scoring 10 goals and letting in three.

And in player-coach Corey Adams, younger brother Josh and Josh Harris, United have three players with the pace, skill and competitive streak to make them potential match-winners.

Josh was the hat-trick star in last week’s 6-2 rout of Western Rangers in Hastings, with Corey, skipper Kieran Venema and fellow midfielder Dane Thompson completing the scoring.

“It was a good win but the boys are keeping their feet on the ground,” Corey Adams said.

“They know that it’s only two games into the season and that Napier will be hard to beat down there.

“It’s our third away game in a row and we’re looking forward to playing at Harry Barker Reserve next week, but the main focus is on this weekend.”

Corey said that Thompson, who transferred from Gisborne Thistle, was proving a great signing.

“He’s scored two goals and is forming a good combination in the middle of the park with KV (Kieran Venema). KV’s got all the experience. Dane is big, strong and quick.”

Gisborne Thistle coach Garrett Blair said he could be “potentially travelling light” for their game against Eskview.

“We’ve got Sam Hogan, Sam Patterson (both injured) and Hector Araya (suspended) all out for two weeks, and Ander Batarrita is having a fitness test on a suspected slight tear in his quad,” Blair said.

“At this stage we’ll line up similar to last week — Mark Baple, Liam Ryan, Chris Spurr, Cole Devonport, Dan Venema, Nicky Land, Olly Tilley, Ander, if available, Max Mika, Davie Ure and Jake Theron.

“That leaves Tim Hofman and Jake Robertson to come on. I’ve put out an SOS to Max Logan to help us out, so he comes into the squad. Ryan Majstrovic has offered to travel.

“I’ll also put myself on the card if Ander doesn’t pass his fitness test.”

Blair, who took over from Matt Hastings, is rebuilding the team after losing players to United.

“Matt brought a sense of professionalism to the club which we (Blair and the players) have carried on, and team morale is great.”

In Ryan, Land and Tilley, Blair has a trio of players who lead by example.

“Olly’s work rate and box-to-box mentality are often overlooked.

“He does a great job every week and is a quality player who could fit into any team in the league.”

The best attack against the best defence in the Pacific Premiership . . . that’s the top-of-the-table football match between Heavy Equipment Gisborne United and Napier City Rovers Seconds in Napier tomorrow.

OK, so it’s only two games into the competition, but Napier have won both and not conceded a goal.

United have also won both games, scoring 10 goals and letting in three.

And in player-coach Corey Adams, younger brother Josh and Josh Harris, United have three players with the pace, skill and competitive streak to make them potential match-winners.

Josh was the hat-trick star in last week’s 6-2 rout of Western Rangers in Hastings, with Corey, skipper Kieran Venema and fellow midfielder Dane Thompson completing the scoring.

“It was a good win but the boys are keeping their feet on the ground,” Corey Adams said.

“They know that it’s only two games into the season and that Napier will be hard to beat down there.

“It’s our third away game in a row and we’re looking forward to playing at Harry Barker Reserve next week, but the main focus is on this weekend.”

Corey said that Thompson, who transferred from Gisborne Thistle, was proving a great signing.

“He’s scored two goals and is forming a good combination in the middle of the park with KV (Kieran Venema). KV’s got all the experience. Dane is big, strong and quick.”

Gisborne Thistle coach Garrett Blair said he could be “potentially travelling light” for their game against Eskview.

“We’ve got Sam Hogan, Sam Patterson (both injured) and Hector Araya (suspended) all out for two weeks, and Ander Batarrita is having a fitness test on a suspected slight tear in his quad,” Blair said.

“At this stage we’ll line up similar to last week — Mark Baple, Liam Ryan, Chris Spurr, Cole Devonport, Dan Venema, Nicky Land, Olly Tilley, Ander, if available, Max Mika, Davie Ure and Jake Theron.

“That leaves Tim Hofman and Jake Robertson to come on. I’ve put out an SOS to Max Logan to help us out, so he comes into the squad. Ryan Majstrovic has offered to travel.

“I’ll also put myself on the card if Ander doesn’t pass his fitness test.”

Blair, who took over from Matt Hastings, is rebuilding the team after losing players to United.

“Matt brought a sense of professionalism to the club which we (Blair and the players) have carried on, and team morale is great.”

In Ryan, Land and Tilley, Blair has a trio of players who lead by example.

“Olly’s work rate and box-to-box mentality are often overlooked.

“He does a great job every week and is a quality player who could fit into any team in the league.”

P W L D F A Pts

Napier City Rovers 2 2 0 0 7 0 6

Gisborne United 2 2 0 0 10 3 6

Port Hill United 2 2 0 0 5 2 6

Napier Marist 2 1 0 1 9 2 4

Eskview United 2 1 1 0 4 5 3

Western Rangers 2 1 1 0 3 6 3

Gisborne Thistle 2 0 1 1 1 5 1

Maycenvale United 2 0 2 0 1 5 0

Taradale 2 0 2 0 0 4 0 Havelock Nth. W. 2 0 2 0 2 10 0

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