Pleasant Point give rivals heart
A goal in each half from Connor Bourke helped Timaru City ease past Thistle 5-2 in its South Canterbury Football League match at the Caledonian Grounds, on Saturday.
Ryan Hanifin also scored twice in the second half as the Timaru City made light work of the tough conditions and their opposition.
In other results, Pleasant Point became the first team to take points from Northern Hearts with a 3-3 draw; a hat-trick from Riley Brosnahan helped Mountainview FC to a 5-1 win over Timaru Boys' High School (TBHS) at Sir Basil Arthur Park and West End overcame Meadowbank United 4-3 at West End Park.
In boggy conditions, City opened the scoring through an own-goal after a cross from Jesse Te Puke was turned goal-wards by a Thistle defender who could do little to prevent the outcome.
Thistle's EJ Hickey lasted just 19 minutes before succumbing to a leg injury he had coming carried into the game.
Captain Craig Hinton was having cramping issues of his own.
Things got worse for visitors Thistle when Bourke found the back of the net with a first-time volley from the edge of the penalty area.
He met the ball on the bounce following a punch-out from goalkeeper Chris Hall and powered it into the top right corner.
Thistle began to create a few more chances through striker Antonio Lara and Jamie Chambers.
Hall made a couple of gutsy one-on-one saves to keep his team clinging to hope of a revival nte Thistle in the game in the second half.
City made it 3-0 seven minutes into the second half when a floated ball into the penalty area from Eru Takuira-Mita glanced off the head of Hanifin and, with the commotion in front of Hall, he was fooled into anticipating a stronger header and the ball bounced into the net.
Bourke and Hanifin added a second to their individual tallies within the last 10 minutes and, while Thistle grew in confidence as the match went on, they simply ran out of time to get some respectability in the scoreline.
Pleasant Point led twice against Hearts thanks largely to two goals from Shaun Tarrant but could not hold on.
Coach Danny Johnston said playing the pace of Eddie Iraia and Blair Struthers out wide created more opportunities for his team and the result breathed some life back into the league and the South Canterbury Cup later in the season.
Hearts player/coach Matt Chambers said with a few players away, they struggled to keep their defensive shape.
''At 2-1 up we'd like to think we're the kind of team that could close out a game so it was disappointing to concede twice and let things slip.''
A late goal from Tom Deeley grabbed them a share of the points.
Mountainview coach James Coyle said his team played with more structure and confidence and did not allow TBHS back into the game.
TBHS coach Gary Ivamy said his team failed to mark up or put Mountainview under any pressure.
West End coach Trevor Johnston said his team battled unavailability and sickness but were happy to close the gap on league leaders Hearts to just three points.
- The Timaru Herald