Stage set for showdown

MAN OF THE MATCH: Gisborne United defender Kieran Higham (left) clashes with a player from Napier Marist seconds at Harry Barker Reserve in April. Higham was United’s man of the match in their 2-0 victory over Port Hill in Napier on Saturday. File picture by Paul Rickard

Gisborne United and Thistle came away from Hawke’s Bay with victories again in Pacific Premiership football on Saturday.

They had to battle torrential rain and blistering winds, with Heavy Equipment Services United beating mid-table side Port Hill United 2-0 and Gisborne Vehicle Testing Thistle beating cellar dwellers Hastings Western Rangers 7-0.

It sets the stage for a top-of-the-table showdown between the Gisborne teams on Saturday.

Two magnificent goals from in-form striker Josh Adams secured the three points for United in Napier.

His first came on 15 minutes when he latched on to a pass into space and lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper.

On the hour mark he added a second. The ball was played to his feet, he turned and fired the ball into the top right of the Port Hill goal from 18 metres.

While United had most of the possession, goalkeeper Jack Faulkner made some important saves and the back line did their bit to keep a clean sheet.

Man of the match was Kieran Higham, who won everything that came his way at the back.

United player-coach Corey Adams was happy with the result — three more points to keep his side top of the table.

In Hastings, Thistle did a 7-0 demolition job on bottom side Western Rangers.

Coach Garrett Blair was happy with the performance, especially as his side were playing only their second competitive match in six weeks.

“It was great to finally get back out on the grass and play some football,” he said.

“We were well aware that Rangers can fight and frustrate any side.”

Striker David Ure and English Pulse Academy players Liam McMenamy and Brandon Josling each scored twice, with Max Logan scoring the other goal.

Logan’s was the goal of the match. He scored direct from a corner.

Sam Patterson set up two of the goals with pinpoint crosses.

Both of Ure’s goals came from over 25 metres out. One was a top-drawer screamer from open play and the other was a free-kick.

With the match won, Blair emptied the dugout and used all five reserves, including new Pulse Academy recruits Sean Morrison and George Watson.

The man-of-the-match award went to the third of Thistle’s initial Pulse Academy “intake” — Jay Matthews — for his outstanding game at rightback.

“It was a great team performance,” Blair said.

“And it was great to get some goals.”

The Pacific Premiership draw has been revised following the withdrawal of Hastings Hibernian from the competition.

As a result, the two Gisborne sides will clash at Harry Barker Reserve at 2.30pm on Saturday.

United will look to avenge their April 13 loss to Thistle at Childers Road Reserve, when the Jags triumphed 4-1.

Gisborne United and Thistle came away from Hawke’s Bay with victories again in Pacific Premiership football on Saturday.

They had to battle torrential rain and blistering winds, with Heavy Equipment Services United beating mid-table side Port Hill United 2-0 and Gisborne Vehicle Testing Thistle beating cellar dwellers Hastings Western Rangers 7-0.

It sets the stage for a top-of-the-table showdown between the Gisborne teams on Saturday.

Two magnificent goals from in-form striker Josh Adams secured the three points for United in Napier.

His first came on 15 minutes when he latched on to a pass into space and lobbed the ball over the advancing keeper.

On the hour mark he added a second. The ball was played to his feet, he turned and fired the ball into the top right of the Port Hill goal from 18 metres.

While United had most of the possession, goalkeeper Jack Faulkner made some important saves and the back line did their bit to keep a clean sheet.

Man of the match was Kieran Higham, who won everything that came his way at the back.

United player-coach Corey Adams was happy with the result — three more points to keep his side top of the table.

In Hastings, Thistle did a 7-0 demolition job on bottom side Western Rangers.

Coach Garrett Blair was happy with the performance, especially as his side were playing only their second competitive match in six weeks.

“It was great to finally get back out on the grass and play some football,” he said.

“We were well aware that Rangers can fight and frustrate any side.”

Striker David Ure and English Pulse Academy players Liam McMenamy and Brandon Josling each scored twice, with Max Logan scoring the other goal.

Logan’s was the goal of the match. He scored direct from a corner.

Sam Patterson set up two of the goals with pinpoint crosses.

Both of Ure’s goals came from over 25 metres out. One was a top-drawer screamer from open play and the other was a free-kick.

With the match won, Blair emptied the dugout and used all five reserves, including new Pulse Academy recruits Sean Morrison and George Watson.

The man-of-the-match award went to the third of Thistle’s initial Pulse Academy “intake” — Jay Matthews — for his outstanding game at rightback.

“It was a great team performance,” Blair said.

“And it was great to get some goals.”

The Pacific Premiership draw has been revised following the withdrawal of Hastings Hibernian from the competition.

As a result, the two Gisborne sides will clash at Harry Barker Reserve at 2.30pm on Saturday.

United will look to avenge their April 13 loss to Thistle at Childers Road Reserve, when the Jags triumphed 4-1.

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