Another game, another step closer

Lytton surprise United scoring in the first five seconds

Lytton surprise United scoring in the first five seconds

File picture

UNITED moved a step closer to Eastern League football’s Division 1 title on Saturday, but Lytton High School gave them an early fright.

Heavy Equipment Services United beat Lytton 4-1 at the school ground, Carpet Court Thistle Massive beat QRS Wairoa Athletic 9-2 in Wairoa, and Gisborne Boys’ High School beat Sunshine Brewery Wainui Sharks 4-1 at the Rectory field.

Lytton scored almost straight from the kick-off — after five seconds.

From the kick-off, the ball went to midfielder Matt McVey, who chipped the ball over the United defence for right midfielder Sonny Brady to volley into the net . . . a great goal, 1-0.

United equalised after 25 minutes when, from six metres out, Aubrey Yates put the finishing touch to a run by player-coach Stu Cranswick.

Ten minutes later, Jonathan Purcell, in an unfamiliar central midfield role, made it 2-1 from the edge of the penalty area.

In the 70th minute, Jimmy Holden — up from centreback, where he filled in for Purcell — made the game safe with United’s third goal, and 10 minutes from time Cranswick scored the fourth.

“We didn’t start very well but once we got a couple of goals, we settled down,” Cranswick said.

For United, Purcell performed well in the middle of the park, and right midfielder David Glassford had one of his best games. Left midfielder Damon Husband also put in a good shift.

United’s defence had another good outing, Kim Perano and Holden keeping the middle solid, and right back Matt McFatter and leftback Carl Shaw guarding the flanks.

Lytton’s man of the match was left midfielder Ryan Hall.

With some of their senior players away, Lytton had a juggled line-up. However, centrebacks Ryan Anderson and Merlin Parsons won possession well and began most of their team’s attacks with fine distribution.

Thistle Massive stayed in touch, four points back but with a game in hand, after their win in Wairoa.

Coach John Stirton said Thistle’s first goal came after 10 minutes, and the rest followed fairly regularly after that.

Thistle’s goals came from striker Nic Somerton (five) and midfielders Dave Watson (three) and Rory White.

Thistle were without some key players but adjusted by playing with three at the back, five in midfield and two up front.

Stefan Faber at leftback, Shannon Dowsing on the right and Michael Rogers in the middle were solid throughout.

Stirton said Faber was particularly impressive, and got better every week.

Kieran Ryan played as an attacking midfielder, and struck up a good combination with Watson. Together they helped set up some of Somerton’s goals.

Phil Gill had a “great game”, Stirton said.

“He calms it down when he gets the ball, and never wastes possession.”

Somerton was lethal anywhere near goal, and Hudson Leite shone in midfield and especially in his defensive work.

Boys’ High got off to a good start against Wainui, right midfielder Jack Fenn scoring his first goal of the season. Three minutes in, he advanced to the edge of the penalty area and placed his shot inside the far post.

In the 18th minute, Alex Larkins ran on to a pass 20 metres out, made ground and shot from eight metres . . . 2-0.

Matt Smith pulled one back for Wainui 25 minutes in, beating players before finishing well.

But Wainui’s hopes were shortlived. From the kick-off, the ball was played back to central midfielder Josh Blair, who spotted an opportunity.

He launched the ball from his own half high into the Wainui goal . . . 3-1.

Five minutes into the second half, Boys’ High gave themselves more breathing space when Jirah Wanoa ran on to a through-ball and finished well.

Boys’ High were workmanlike after a taxing Super 8 week. Utility player Adam Donaldson did well at centreback and Regan Cameron was outstanding in goal.

Illness and injuries had depleted Wainui’s ranks. They started the game with nine players but made it to 11 shortly after kick-off.

Three players — Ron Potter, Manaaki Terekia and goalkeeper Mike Vita — had already played full or nearly full games for the Demons.

Outstanding for Wainui were Matt Smith, in an attacking role, and midfielders Shane Hooks, Greg Judd and Jack McIntosh, a Scotsman on a working holiday.

UNITED moved a step closer to Eastern League football’s Division 1 title on Saturday, but Lytton High School gave them an early fright.

Heavy Equipment Services United beat Lytton 4-1 at the school ground, Carpet Court Thistle Massive beat QRS Wairoa Athletic 9-2 in Wairoa, and Gisborne Boys’ High School beat Sunshine Brewery Wainui Sharks 4-1 at the Rectory field.

Lytton scored almost straight from the kick-off — after five seconds.

From the kick-off, the ball went to midfielder Matt McVey, who chipped the ball over the United defence for right midfielder Sonny Brady to volley into the net . . . a great goal, 1-0.

United equalised after 25 minutes when, from six metres out, Aubrey Yates put the finishing touch to a run by player-coach Stu Cranswick.

Ten minutes later, Jonathan Purcell, in an unfamiliar central midfield role, made it 2-1 from the edge of the penalty area.

In the 70th minute, Jimmy Holden — up from centreback, where he filled in for Purcell — made the game safe with United’s third goal, and 10 minutes from time Cranswick scored the fourth.

“We didn’t start very well but once we got a couple of goals, we settled down,” Cranswick said.

For United, Purcell performed well in the middle of the park, and right midfielder David Glassford had one of his best games. Left midfielder Damon Husband also put in a good shift.

United’s defence had another good outing, Kim Perano and Holden keeping the middle solid, and right back Matt McFatter and leftback Carl Shaw guarding the flanks.

Lytton’s man of the match was left midfielder Ryan Hall.

With some of their senior players away, Lytton had a juggled line-up. However, centrebacks Ryan Anderson and Merlin Parsons won possession well and began most of their team’s attacks with fine distribution.

Thistle Massive stayed in touch, four points back but with a game in hand, after their win in Wairoa.

Coach John Stirton said Thistle’s first goal came after 10 minutes, and the rest followed fairly regularly after that.

Thistle’s goals came from striker Nic Somerton (five) and midfielders Dave Watson (three) and Rory White.

Thistle were without some key players but adjusted by playing with three at the back, five in midfield and two up front.

Stefan Faber at leftback, Shannon Dowsing on the right and Michael Rogers in the middle were solid throughout.

Stirton said Faber was particularly impressive, and got better every week.

Kieran Ryan played as an attacking midfielder, and struck up a good combination with Watson. Together they helped set up some of Somerton’s goals.

Phil Gill had a “great game”, Stirton said.

“He calms it down when he gets the ball, and never wastes possession.”

Somerton was lethal anywhere near goal, and Hudson Leite shone in midfield and especially in his defensive work.

Boys’ High got off to a good start against Wainui, right midfielder Jack Fenn scoring his first goal of the season. Three minutes in, he advanced to the edge of the penalty area and placed his shot inside the far post.

In the 18th minute, Alex Larkins ran on to a pass 20 metres out, made ground and shot from eight metres . . . 2-0.

Matt Smith pulled one back for Wainui 25 minutes in, beating players before finishing well.

But Wainui’s hopes were shortlived. From the kick-off, the ball was played back to central midfielder Josh Blair, who spotted an opportunity.

He launched the ball from his own half high into the Wainui goal . . . 3-1.

Five minutes into the second half, Boys’ High gave themselves more breathing space when Jirah Wanoa ran on to a through-ball and finished well.

Boys’ High were workmanlike after a taxing Super 8 week. Utility player Adam Donaldson did well at centreback and Regan Cameron was outstanding in goal.

Illness and injuries had depleted Wainui’s ranks. They started the game with nine players but made it to 11 shortly after kick-off.

Three players — Ron Potter, Manaaki Terekia and goalkeeper Mike Vita — had already played full or nearly full games for the Demons.

Outstanding for Wainui were Matt Smith, in an attacking role, and midfielders Shane Hooks, Greg Judd and Jack McIntosh, a Scotsman on a working holiday.

GBHS at Super 8 comp

Gisborne Boys’ High School finished seventh in the Super 8 football tournament at Hamilton last week, but had the satisfaction of producing what many thought were two contenders for goal of the tournament.

In a pool game against Rotorua Boys’ High, midfielder Brad Clark met a headed clearance from a corner and volleyed the ball into the net from outside the penalty area. Gisborne won this match 5-1.

In other pool games, Gisborne lost 6-2 to eventual tournament winners Hamilton Boys’ High and 4-1 to Tauranga Boys’ College.

Gisborne lost a cross-over game against Hastings 2-0, which put them into the seventh/eighth playoff against Rotorua, whom they beat 3-1. In this game, Alex Larkins curled a 30-metre free-kick into the far corner from the left wing.

Standout players for Gisborne throughout the tournament were goalkeeper Regan Cameron, Adam Donaldson, Josh Blair, Clark, Jirah Wanoa, Larkins, Connor Putnam and Jack Woods.

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