Season’s first derby honours go to Jags

TUSSLE: Thistle man of the match Matt McVey (left) braces himself for the challenge of United player-coach Corey Adams in their Pacific Premiership match on Saturday. McVey scored the goal of the game in a 4-1 win to Thistle. Picture by Paul Rickard

GISBORNE Thistle midfielder Matt McVey scored the goal of the match and goalkeeper Mark Baple made the saves that kept the Jags in front against United on Saturday.

Thistle won the first Gisborne derby of the Pacific Premiership football season 4-1 at Childers Road Reserve, and it was a game that lived up to expectations.

Heavy Equipment Services United went ahead 16 minutes in when Josh Adams scored his sixth goal in two games. Winger Josh Harris set it up, splitting Thistle’s centrebacks with a nice through ball. Adams did the rest, controlling the ball and chipping keeper Baple.

Seven minutes later, Gisborne Vehicle Testing Station Thistle equalised through young English recruit Brandon Josling. Coming through from his right midfield role, he slotted home a rebound from a save by United keeper Jack Faulkner.

The halftime score of 1-1 was a fair reflection of play. Neither side had dominated an entertaining first half.

On 57 minutes McVey, Thistle’s player of the match, scored the goal of the match. He latched on to a mistimed clearance and buried his shot from 30 metres. Faulkner got a hand to the ball but couldn’t stop it going into the bottom right corner.

United then had a good spell of possession. Adams hit the crossbar and Baple pulled off three sensational saves, denying Adams twice and substitute PJ Goodlett once.

Baple's heroics kept Thistle in front

Baple’s heroics kept Thistle in front. He was outstanding.

Another of Thistle’s English imports, Liam McMenamy, made a great run down the right flank and cut the ball back to Hector Araya, who smashed his shot from about the penalty spot into the Thistle clubhouse.

On 85 minutes, Thistle got the cushion they wanted. New signing Fabio Senna scored direct from a free-kick 30 metres out.

With Thistle 3-1 up with five minutes to go, it was getting tense on the benches.

A minute later, striker McMenamy, another of the English recruits scored his first Thistle goal.

United captain Kieran Venema, looking for a player in space, had his pocket picked and young McMenamy had the ball.

He waited for Faulkner to come off his line, and just like Adams earlier, hit a beautiful chip over the keeper and into the net.

Both teams looked exhausted but lifted themselves for the seven minutes of added time that referee Mike Ju played.

Every player gave his all, and just before the final whistle, second-half Thistle substitute Max Mika went close to making it five when his 18-metre shot hit the crossbar.

Thistle coach Garrett Blair was ecstatic with his team’s display.

“Everything worked to plan,” he said.

“I told the lads to hold the ball, move it around and keep possession, and to make sure they neutralised striker Josh Adams.

“I am proud of the way they played and I am over the moon with the result.”

United player-coach Corey Adams was proud of the effort his team put in but said it was just not their day.

“On any other day we might have scored five,” he said.

“Baps in goal was the game-changer for them. We created so many chances, and most of the time we bang them in. We have to look at conceding fewer goals.

“We will put this setback behind us, as we want to win this league.”

On Saturday, United face Napier Marist at Harry Barker Reserve at 2.30pm and Thistle travel away to face last season’s champions, Napier City Rovers Reserves.

GISBORNE Thistle midfielder Matt McVey scored the goal of the match and goalkeeper Mark Baple made the saves that kept the Jags in front against United on Saturday.

Thistle won the first Gisborne derby of the Pacific Premiership football season 4-1 at Childers Road Reserve, and it was a game that lived up to expectations.

Heavy Equipment Services United went ahead 16 minutes in when Josh Adams scored his sixth goal in two games. Winger Josh Harris set it up, splitting Thistle’s centrebacks with a nice through ball. Adams did the rest, controlling the ball and chipping keeper Baple.

Seven minutes later, Gisborne Vehicle Testing Station Thistle equalised through young English recruit Brandon Josling. Coming through from his right midfield role, he slotted home a rebound from a save by United keeper Jack Faulkner.

The halftime score of 1-1 was a fair reflection of play. Neither side had dominated an entertaining first half.

On 57 minutes McVey, Thistle’s player of the match, scored the goal of the match. He latched on to a mistimed clearance and buried his shot from 30 metres. Faulkner got a hand to the ball but couldn’t stop it going into the bottom right corner.

United then had a good spell of possession. Adams hit the crossbar and Baple pulled off three sensational saves, denying Adams twice and substitute PJ Goodlett once.

Baple's heroics kept Thistle in front

Baple’s heroics kept Thistle in front. He was outstanding.

Another of Thistle’s English imports, Liam McMenamy, made a great run down the right flank and cut the ball back to Hector Araya, who smashed his shot from about the penalty spot into the Thistle clubhouse.

On 85 minutes, Thistle got the cushion they wanted. New signing Fabio Senna scored direct from a free-kick 30 metres out.

With Thistle 3-1 up with five minutes to go, it was getting tense on the benches.

A minute later, striker McMenamy, another of the English recruits scored his first Thistle goal.

United captain Kieran Venema, looking for a player in space, had his pocket picked and young McMenamy had the ball.

He waited for Faulkner to come off his line, and just like Adams earlier, hit a beautiful chip over the keeper and into the net.

Both teams looked exhausted but lifted themselves for the seven minutes of added time that referee Mike Ju played.

Every player gave his all, and just before the final whistle, second-half Thistle substitute Max Mika went close to making it five when his 18-metre shot hit the crossbar.

Thistle coach Garrett Blair was ecstatic with his team’s display.

“Everything worked to plan,” he said.

“I told the lads to hold the ball, move it around and keep possession, and to make sure they neutralised striker Josh Adams.

“I am proud of the way they played and I am over the moon with the result.”

United player-coach Corey Adams was proud of the effort his team put in but said it was just not their day.

“On any other day we might have scored five,” he said.

“Baps in goal was the game-changer for them. We created so many chances, and most of the time we bang them in. We have to look at conceding fewer goals.

“We will put this setback behind us, as we want to win this league.”

On Saturday, United face Napier Marist at Harry Barker Reserve at 2.30pm and Thistle travel away to face last season’s champions, Napier City Rovers Reserves.

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