‘Off days’ the test of a good team

SPORTS teams have “off days”, and if they can win regardless they might just prosper.

Carpet Court Thistle Massive “didn’t play that well” against ShipWreck Bohemians in Gisborne Championship football at Harry Barker Reserve on Saturday.

Thistle trailed 2-1 at halftime but a few substitutions and positional changes paid off and they won 3-2.

They were without seasoned campaigners Nic Somerton and Kane Stirton, and two of their substitutes — Jason Burgess and Reece Brew — were returning from injury.

Coach John Stirton was worried enough to seek reinforcements from the non-playing ranks of the first team squad.

Pulse Academy import George Watson answered the call and sat on the bench till 30 minutes from the end.

Stirton brought him on to patrol the right flank, and Watson did so well in half an hour that the coach made him Thistle’s man of the match.

“His speed, ball skills, vision and distribution were outstanding,” Stirton said.

“He was busy, got stuck in and showed a bit of class.”

Others played well for Thistle, too, but this was a game Stirton was pleased to come away from with three points.

“We didn’t play that well,” he said.

“The second half was quite good, but our first half was messy.”

Despite that, Thistle scored first. Recently injured Matt Smith, working his way back to fitness on the left flank, beat a defender, cut in and let fly from just outside the penalty area. Goalkeeper Eru Rawiri — one of the Bohs’ best — had no chance as the ball scorched a trail into the far corner of the goal.

But Bohemians belied their placing in the bottom half of the table and struck twice before the break.

Stirton had already begun making changes. His son Craig, having started up front, came off for a spell, Chris Spurr moved from central midfield to striker and Smith came back into the midfield engine room, alongside Phill Gill.

Burgess came on to probe down the left flank, Craig Stirton came back on to play on the right, and Brew filled a defensive midfield role.

When Watson came on, Stirton moved to rightback and Watson filled his place on the flank.

Kieran Ryan, playing as a deep-lying striker, made room for himself and got away a shot from the edge of the penalty area to equalise.

Spurr scored the winner, firing low and hard from outside the penalty area into the bottom right corner.

For Thistle, Spurr shone when moved forward, Ryan always looked to be constructive, Smith and Gill were a sound central midfield combination, Brew impressed in the holding role, and centreback Stefan Faber and leftback Daniel Contreras gave little away at the back. Behind them, goalkeeper Raymond Rickard gave another competent display.

In other Championship games, Coates Associates Wainui Demons and Gisborne Boys’ High School (1) drew 1-1, Sunshine Brewery Wainui Sharks beat Riverina 3-0, Heavy Equipment Services United beat QRS Wairoa Athletic 6-2 and Lytton High School beat GBHS (2) 4-1.

The Championship has now been split into two divisions. Division 1 comprises Thistle Massive, Wainui Demons, GBHS (1), United, Lytton High School and Wainui Sharks.

Division 2 comprises GBHS (2), Riverina, Bohemians, Thistle Vintage and Wairoa.

The tables for these two divisions have been set to start from scratch.

However, the Gisborne Conference competition carries on uninterrupted.

ITM Thistle still top the table by a point from Heavy Equipment Services United (3), who have played a game more.

Thistle beat GBHS (3) 7-0 on Saturday, but United had a much harder time of it before chalking up a 2-0 win against Three Rivers Medical Bohemians.

Chris Adams had been on the field two minutes when he opened the scoring midway through the first half. He missed his attempted header from a corner but made no mistake when the ball broke to him straight after.

Striker Willie McClune also showed he had a nose for goals when he got on the end of a Zane Destounis cross from the left to score from close range.

United’s best were right midfielder Mitchell Brouwer, leftback Matt Downie, rightback Bradley Allan and keeper Mark Turnbull.

Bohemians applied plenty of second-half pressure but could not breach the United rearguard.

The Bohs’ best were Hendrik Geyer and Joe Gloistein up front, Daniel Waide in midfield, Gary Cunningham up front, in the midfield and at the back, Phil Gloistein at centreback and Pratik Jethwa in goal.

Smash Palace Shockers beat Campion College 7-2 in the other Conference game.

The top of the women’s table remains close. Gisborne Laundry Services Riverina and Heavy Equipment Services United both have 25 points, although United have a game in hand.

On Sunday, Gisborne Laundry Services Riverina beat Tatapouri Marist Thistle 6-1, United beat Top 10 Holiday Park Bohemians 3-0 and Riverina beat Campion College 3-0.

SPORTS teams have “off days”, and if they can win regardless they might just prosper.

Carpet Court Thistle Massive “didn’t play that well” against ShipWreck Bohemians in Gisborne Championship football at Harry Barker Reserve on Saturday.

Thistle trailed 2-1 at halftime but a few substitutions and positional changes paid off and they won 3-2.

They were without seasoned campaigners Nic Somerton and Kane Stirton, and two of their substitutes — Jason Burgess and Reece Brew — were returning from injury.

Coach John Stirton was worried enough to seek reinforcements from the non-playing ranks of the first team squad.

Pulse Academy import George Watson answered the call and sat on the bench till 30 minutes from the end.

Stirton brought him on to patrol the right flank, and Watson did so well in half an hour that the coach made him Thistle’s man of the match.

“His speed, ball skills, vision and distribution were outstanding,” Stirton said.

“He was busy, got stuck in and showed a bit of class.”

Others played well for Thistle, too, but this was a game Stirton was pleased to come away from with three points.

“We didn’t play that well,” he said.

“The second half was quite good, but our first half was messy.”

Despite that, Thistle scored first. Recently injured Matt Smith, working his way back to fitness on the left flank, beat a defender, cut in and let fly from just outside the penalty area. Goalkeeper Eru Rawiri — one of the Bohs’ best — had no chance as the ball scorched a trail into the far corner of the goal.

But Bohemians belied their placing in the bottom half of the table and struck twice before the break.

Stirton had already begun making changes. His son Craig, having started up front, came off for a spell, Chris Spurr moved from central midfield to striker and Smith came back into the midfield engine room, alongside Phill Gill.

Burgess came on to probe down the left flank, Craig Stirton came back on to play on the right, and Brew filled a defensive midfield role.

When Watson came on, Stirton moved to rightback and Watson filled his place on the flank.

Kieran Ryan, playing as a deep-lying striker, made room for himself and got away a shot from the edge of the penalty area to equalise.

Spurr scored the winner, firing low and hard from outside the penalty area into the bottom right corner.

For Thistle, Spurr shone when moved forward, Ryan always looked to be constructive, Smith and Gill were a sound central midfield combination, Brew impressed in the holding role, and centreback Stefan Faber and leftback Daniel Contreras gave little away at the back. Behind them, goalkeeper Raymond Rickard gave another competent display.

In other Championship games, Coates Associates Wainui Demons and Gisborne Boys’ High School (1) drew 1-1, Sunshine Brewery Wainui Sharks beat Riverina 3-0, Heavy Equipment Services United beat QRS Wairoa Athletic 6-2 and Lytton High School beat GBHS (2) 4-1.

The Championship has now been split into two divisions. Division 1 comprises Thistle Massive, Wainui Demons, GBHS (1), United, Lytton High School and Wainui Sharks.

Division 2 comprises GBHS (2), Riverina, Bohemians, Thistle Vintage and Wairoa.

The tables for these two divisions have been set to start from scratch.

However, the Gisborne Conference competition carries on uninterrupted.

ITM Thistle still top the table by a point from Heavy Equipment Services United (3), who have played a game more.

Thistle beat GBHS (3) 7-0 on Saturday, but United had a much harder time of it before chalking up a 2-0 win against Three Rivers Medical Bohemians.

Chris Adams had been on the field two minutes when he opened the scoring midway through the first half. He missed his attempted header from a corner but made no mistake when the ball broke to him straight after.

Striker Willie McClune also showed he had a nose for goals when he got on the end of a Zane Destounis cross from the left to score from close range.

United’s best were right midfielder Mitchell Brouwer, leftback Matt Downie, rightback Bradley Allan and keeper Mark Turnbull.

Bohemians applied plenty of second-half pressure but could not breach the United rearguard.

The Bohs’ best were Hendrik Geyer and Joe Gloistein up front, Daniel Waide in midfield, Gary Cunningham up front, in the midfield and at the back, Phil Gloistein at centreback and Pratik Jethwa in goal.

Smash Palace Shockers beat Campion College 7-2 in the other Conference game.

The top of the women’s table remains close. Gisborne Laundry Services Riverina and Heavy Equipment Services United both have 25 points, although United have a game in hand.

On Sunday, Gisborne Laundry Services Riverina beat Tatapouri Marist Thistle 6-1, United beat Top 10 Holiday Park Bohemians 3-0 and Riverina beat Campion College 3-0.

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