Gisborne Thistle’s gruelling travel itinerary has been rewarded with an amazing 7-6 win against Napier City Rovers with the winner scored five minutes into stoppage time.
Thistle flew from Gisborne to Napier for their fixture in the Lotto Central Federation League, and will back up on Tuesday when they fly to Auckland for their Chatham Cup preliminary round tie against Papakura City.
The flights are becoming routine for Thistle whose efforts to play their fixtures have been disrupted by February’s Cyclone Gabrielle which has closed the main route south from Gisborne.
The club is playing all their games away till early July when, the club hopes, the Gisborne-Napier highway will have re-opened.
READ MORE: Cyclone forces Gisborne Thistle to undertake gruelling travel schedule >>>>
Saturday’s 7-6 win at Napier was a see-saw affair with Rovers taking an early 2-0 lead.
An own goal from Napier goalkeeper Ben Graney put Thistle back in the match but the home side took a 3-2 lead into the interval.
The game swung in the second half with Thistle’s Jimmy Somerton registering a hat-trick with the third coming from the penalty spot in the last minute of normal time. That gave the visitors a 6-5 lead.
However, Guy Reeves grabbed an equaliser for Napier three minutes into added time.
When the draw looked inevitable, Thistle substitute David Ure nabbed the winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Len Cudd Memorial Trophy
The match introduced a new trophy to be contested whenever Gisborne Thistle and Napier City Rovers meet.
Called the Len ‘LJ’ Cudd Memorial Trophy, it’s named after the former coach of Thistle, whose son, Jimmy Cudd, captained Napier City Rovers to National League and Chatham Cup successes.
The taonga will celebrate the success of both clubs.
Len Cudd died in April 2021, aged 73.
Watch the game in full
The game was live-streamed by Gisborne Thistle’s media partner Rangai.
Game played on Saturday April 22, 2023
Lotto Central Federation League
Napier City Rovers 6 (Harry Mason 13′, 39′ pen, Jack Sanko 24′, Shae Bauerfeind 58′, Tom Speers 82′, Guy Reeves 90+3′)
Gisborne Thistle 7 (Own goal 35′, Oska Smith 42′, Jimmy Somerton 53′, 56′, 90′ pen, David Ure 80′, 90+5′)
Game to be played on Tuesday April 25, 2023
Papakura City v Gisborne Thistle
McLennan Park, Papakura, 1pm
READ MORE: Saturday’s Chatham Cup results >>>>
READ MORE: Tuesday’s Chatham Cup fixtures >>>>