Two Jags goals in a minute

‘The boys wanted to do well for Max and Geoff’.

‘The boys wanted to do well for Max and Geoff’.

IN MEMORIAM: Gisborne Thistle midfielder Max Logan (right), wearing the captain’s armband for the day, had a game that coach Garrett Blair said “his dad (Geoff) would have been proud of”. Geoff Logan’s funeral was held that morning. Pictures by Liam Clayton
Soccer Thistle v Western Rangers.

Two goals in one minute earned Gisborne Thistle a 3-1 victory over Hastings Western Rangers in Pacific Premiership football at Childers Road Reserve on Saturday.

A 64th-minute Jake Theron rocket from 20 metres and a 65th-minute looping header from David Ure off an Emerson Araya right-wing cross turned a tight contest in the Jags’ favour.

Earlier, Olly Tilley scored with a far-post header from Max Mika’s left-wing cross in the 33rd minute. It followed a short corner from Ure.

Rangers equalised in the 56th minute when striker Fane Morgan drove the ball home from six metres after Thistle conceded an indirect free-kick for a passback picked up by the goalkeeper.

Until the Jags’ two quick strikes less than 10 minutes later, the game was finely balanced.

The teams had been level on points but Thistle’s victory put them in clear fifth position, on 15 points, in the 10-team league.

Above them are their opponents away on Saturday, Napier Marist, on 18; Heavy Equipment Services Gisborne United, on 20; Port Hill United, on 21; and Napier City Rovers Seconds, on 27.

Western Rangers are Gisborne United’s opponents at Harry Barker Reserve on Saturday.

Rangers had the usual problems of Hawke’s Bay teams coming to Gisborne — injuries and “players with other things on” — but coach Paul Woon said he was happy in some ways.

“The boys worked hard together,” he said.

“But some of the passing was pathetic. We gave too much ball away and we had times when we weren’t concentrating on our jobs.”

Thistle coach Garrett Blair was pleased with his side’s performance.

“Momentum seems to be with us,” he said.

“We haven’t lost in the past seven weeks.”

Thistle’s last loss was 1-0 away to second-placed Port Hill United on May 5. Since then they have drawn 2-2 with Gisborne United, and beaten Maycenvale 3-0 away, Napier City Rovers Seconds 1-0 at home and now Western Rangers.

A performance his dad would have been proud of

“The boys wanted to do well for Max and Geoff (Logan),” Blair said.

“Max put in a fantastic performance that his dad would have been proud of.”

The starting time of the game was put back half an hour in consideration of players and supporters attending the funeral of Gisborne football stalwart — and father of Max — Geoff Logan.

Max Logan was a vital cog in a hard-working Thistle midfield who were never allowed to have things all their own way.

Logan and Tilley were in the middle of the engine room.

Logan seems to have half a second more to make his pass than anyone else on the pitch. It is a measure of his control, accuracy and vision.

Tilley gets up well for high balls, passes accurately and has a fierce shot with a 30-metre range.

Complementing them on Saturday were Ander Batarrita, whose work wide on the left gave Thistle a valuable outlet, and Nicky Land and Ure, who operated as attacking midfielders.

Having savvy players like Land and Ure in these positions meant Thistle had five midfielders when they needed them, and three attackers when they burst forward. Theron was seldom left on his own up front, and Ure showed his versatility by delivering a string of dangerous crosses from the right late in the game.

Rangers had a similar midfield arrangement — a five-man crooked line in which two players had licence to break forward to support striker Fane Morgan.

Morgan put himself about up front but got little change from Thistle centrebacks Chris Spurr and Daniel Venema, both in good form.

The midfield was keenly contested, and Rangers’ Adam Woon and Matej Stencek gave it everything.

Stencek, from the Czech Republic, has been in New Zealand 10 months and intends to stay at least another year. His performance in midfield was all the more creditable because he is the team’s reserve goalkeeper.

But if Reuben Hilton keeps playing the way he did on Saturday — coming out bravely and getting down well to save shots — Stencek might have to wait a while before he gets a chance in goal.

Others to stand out for Hastings were centrebacks Liam Norman and Xavier Herrick, who kept a tight rein on things until Thistle scored their quick double in the second half, whereupon Herrick was pushed forward.

In defence for Thistle, rightback Max Mika and leftback Emerson Araya managed to get forward and put in crosses, without leaving the backline exposed. Mika made one important block on the edge of the penalty area in the 62nd minute.

Keeper Mark Baple was not as busy as in some recent games, but dealt with any high ball that came his way.

Thistle’s defensive stocks have been strengthened by the addition of former Fijian international Eliki Ravosai, who has moved to Gisborne after being based in Wairoa for forestry work.

He showed enough in his 20 minutes on the field on Saturday to indicate he still has plenty of football left in him.

Ravosai, 36, played for the Nadi club in Fiji and made four appearances for the national team when he was in his 20s.

Referee Ben Chisholm booked a player from each side in a game that was competitive and at times combative, but generally played in good spirit.

Two goals in one minute earned Gisborne Thistle a 3-1 victory over Hastings Western Rangers in Pacific Premiership football at Childers Road Reserve on Saturday.

A 64th-minute Jake Theron rocket from 20 metres and a 65th-minute looping header from David Ure off an Emerson Araya right-wing cross turned a tight contest in the Jags’ favour.

Earlier, Olly Tilley scored with a far-post header from Max Mika’s left-wing cross in the 33rd minute. It followed a short corner from Ure.

Rangers equalised in the 56th minute when striker Fane Morgan drove the ball home from six metres after Thistle conceded an indirect free-kick for a passback picked up by the goalkeeper.

Until the Jags’ two quick strikes less than 10 minutes later, the game was finely balanced.

The teams had been level on points but Thistle’s victory put them in clear fifth position, on 15 points, in the 10-team league.

Above them are their opponents away on Saturday, Napier Marist, on 18; Heavy Equipment Services Gisborne United, on 20; Port Hill United, on 21; and Napier City Rovers Seconds, on 27.

Western Rangers are Gisborne United’s opponents at Harry Barker Reserve on Saturday.

Rangers had the usual problems of Hawke’s Bay teams coming to Gisborne — injuries and “players with other things on” — but coach Paul Woon said he was happy in some ways.

“The boys worked hard together,” he said.

“But some of the passing was pathetic. We gave too much ball away and we had times when we weren’t concentrating on our jobs.”

Thistle coach Garrett Blair was pleased with his side’s performance.

“Momentum seems to be with us,” he said.

“We haven’t lost in the past seven weeks.”

Thistle’s last loss was 1-0 away to second-placed Port Hill United on May 5. Since then they have drawn 2-2 with Gisborne United, and beaten Maycenvale 3-0 away, Napier City Rovers Seconds 1-0 at home and now Western Rangers.

A performance his dad would have been proud of

“The boys wanted to do well for Max and Geoff (Logan),” Blair said.

“Max put in a fantastic performance that his dad would have been proud of.”

The starting time of the game was put back half an hour in consideration of players and supporters attending the funeral of Gisborne football stalwart — and father of Max — Geoff Logan.

Max Logan was a vital cog in a hard-working Thistle midfield who were never allowed to have things all their own way.

Logan and Tilley were in the middle of the engine room.

Logan seems to have half a second more to make his pass than anyone else on the pitch. It is a measure of his control, accuracy and vision.

Tilley gets up well for high balls, passes accurately and has a fierce shot with a 30-metre range.

Complementing them on Saturday were Ander Batarrita, whose work wide on the left gave Thistle a valuable outlet, and Nicky Land and Ure, who operated as attacking midfielders.

Having savvy players like Land and Ure in these positions meant Thistle had five midfielders when they needed them, and three attackers when they burst forward. Theron was seldom left on his own up front, and Ure showed his versatility by delivering a string of dangerous crosses from the right late in the game.

Rangers had a similar midfield arrangement — a five-man crooked line in which two players had licence to break forward to support striker Fane Morgan.

Morgan put himself about up front but got little change from Thistle centrebacks Chris Spurr and Daniel Venema, both in good form.

The midfield was keenly contested, and Rangers’ Adam Woon and Matej Stencek gave it everything.

Stencek, from the Czech Republic, has been in New Zealand 10 months and intends to stay at least another year. His performance in midfield was all the more creditable because he is the team’s reserve goalkeeper.

But if Reuben Hilton keeps playing the way he did on Saturday — coming out bravely and getting down well to save shots — Stencek might have to wait a while before he gets a chance in goal.

Others to stand out for Hastings were centrebacks Liam Norman and Xavier Herrick, who kept a tight rein on things until Thistle scored their quick double in the second half, whereupon Herrick was pushed forward.

In defence for Thistle, rightback Max Mika and leftback Emerson Araya managed to get forward and put in crosses, without leaving the backline exposed. Mika made one important block on the edge of the penalty area in the 62nd minute.

Keeper Mark Baple was not as busy as in some recent games, but dealt with any high ball that came his way.

Thistle’s defensive stocks have been strengthened by the addition of former Fijian international Eliki Ravosai, who has moved to Gisborne after being based in Wairoa for forestry work.

He showed enough in his 20 minutes on the field on Saturday to indicate he still has plenty of football left in him.

Ravosai, 36, played for the Nadi club in Fiji and made four appearances for the national team when he was in his 20s.

Referee Ben Chisholm booked a player from each side in a game that was competitive and at times combative, but generally played in good spirit.

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