Thistle out of Chatham Cup

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GISBORNE Thistle’s Chatham Cup campaign is over for another year. They lost 2-1 to North End in Palmerston North yesterday.

But Jags player-coach Garrett Blair was anything but downcast about his side’s performance.

He described the match as bittersweet . . . “bitter in that we lost, but sweet because it was the best team performance we’ve had all season”.

Blair said Thistle deserved to win but a couple of mistakes cost them.

“North End scored early on when they caught us on the break,” he said.

Until then, Thistle had been moving the ball well, with effective work from defensive midfielder Ander Batarrita and attacking midfielder Nicky Land.

Blair felt Thistle were the better side in the first half and although they couldn’t score, it was not for lack of chances.

It was more of the same in the second half. Land, Batarrita, and central midfielders Olly Tilley and Max Logan won the midfield battle and linked up well with with the back four.

Right-wingback Emerson Araya, centrebacks Liam Ryan and Dan Venema, and left-wingback Shannon Dowsing played well. Araya and Dowsing pushed on and exploited space out wide.

“A lot of our attacks started here,” Blair said.

“It was one of these attacks that led to our goal in the 53rd minute. Emerson drove forward and whipped a ball over for centre-forward Tim Hofman to nod home at the near post to equalise.”

Thistle continued to create chances, but when they lost the ball on halfway North End scored on the counter-attack.

Thistle surged back. Striker Brad Reynolds got on the end of another cross from Araya, but it went just over the bar.

Blair said that while the loss was disappointing, the performance was not, and the players did the club proud.

GISBORNE Thistle’s Chatham Cup campaign is over for another year. They lost 2-1 to North End in Palmerston North yesterday.

But Jags player-coach Garrett Blair was anything but downcast about his side’s performance.

He described the match as bittersweet . . . “bitter in that we lost, but sweet because it was the best team performance we’ve had all season”.

Blair said Thistle deserved to win but a couple of mistakes cost them.

“North End scored early on when they caught us on the break,” he said.

Until then, Thistle had been moving the ball well, with effective work from defensive midfielder Ander Batarrita and attacking midfielder Nicky Land.

Blair felt Thistle were the better side in the first half and although they couldn’t score, it was not for lack of chances.

It was more of the same in the second half. Land, Batarrita, and central midfielders Olly Tilley and Max Logan won the midfield battle and linked up well with with the back four.

Right-wingback Emerson Araya, centrebacks Liam Ryan and Dan Venema, and left-wingback Shannon Dowsing played well. Araya and Dowsing pushed on and exploited space out wide.

“A lot of our attacks started here,” Blair said.

“It was one of these attacks that led to our goal in the 53rd minute. Emerson drove forward and whipped a ball over for centre-forward Tim Hofman to nod home at the near post to equalise.”

Thistle continued to create chances, but when they lost the ball on halfway North End scored on the counter-attack.

Thistle surged back. Striker Brad Reynolds got on the end of another cross from Araya, but it went just over the bar.

Blair said that while the loss was disappointing, the performance was not, and the players did the club proud.

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