A swiftly starting Helensburgh Thistle got up 4-0 against University at Rex Jackson Oval on Sunday.
In the only game of the Men’s Premiership this weekend, braces to Brad Watts and Kade Kinsella ensured the hosts’ perfect start to the District League remained intact.
The Thistle came out of the blocks flying, with Joel Mucci, Brad Watts and Liam Unicomb having close shots within the first minute.
Eleven minutes in, Brad Watts opened the scoring for the side.
The winger was played in one-on-one with Students’ goalkeeper Jordan Kipps who he rounded to the shot stopper’s left and passed it into the now vacant net.
Some sharp play from Kinsella and Brad Watts around the box not long after resulted in the latter mazing into the box before University’s Luke Inglis booted the ball just past the right post.
In the 25th minute, the home side doubled their advantage with Brad Watts scoring his second of the match.
Unicomb picked up the ball in the left of the box and passed it across to Brad Watts in the middle, who buried it into the net.
Just three minutes later, Helensburgh added a third through Kinsella.
Brad Watts found space in behind the left channel and played it to Kinsella in open space at the far post, who took his time before passing the ball home.
Three goals in the first half an hour had put Helensburgh in the driving seat for the remainder of the game.
In the final minute of the half, Kinsella came close again, getting on the end of Charlie Jones’ ball from the left, seeing his shot saved at the base of the right post by Kipps.
A purposeful opening period of play from the hosts had the side in a commanding position at the break.
Just four minutes into the second period, the Thistle added a fourth, with Kinsella making it a double.
The striker sending a low-driven shot into the bottom left corner from just inside the box.
In a rare foray forward for the visitors 55 minutes in, Matheus Scapin jinked inside from the left and curled a shot towards the top right corner that finished just past the post.
In the final 20 minutes of the match, the Thistle looked to add more to the scoreline.
In the 73rd minute, Benjamin Watts received a well-weighted pass from Vaughan Patterson into the right channel but couldn’t find the target with his shot.
A couple of minutes later, Kinsella had a shot from the edge of the box tipped over the bar by Kipps.
With 10 minutes to play, Kinsella saw a left-footed shot from the right of the box deflected onto the crossbar by University captain Ryan Sinclair.
Helensburgh went on to secure their fourth win of the season.
Coach Andrew Paine was pleased with the team’s performance but noted that he would like to see better from the side without the ball.
“What we did with the ball I was pretty happy with. We moved it all day with pace,” he said.
“No one’s trained in like ten weeks, so all those details are still coming back.
“[It was] a good win for us.”
The 2019 District League coach of the year was happy to see some football this weekend after a disjointed schedule of fixtures to start the year.
“We called it [the games] off on Friday and then had a change of heart Saturday morning, so there’s been a bit of two-and-froe to get us here, and unfortunately, the youth we couldn’t get on,” he said.
“The ground staff here have done amazing work to get it [the pitch] in this state. We’ve got our own mower, and we’ve been keeping it as short as we can so it can dry.”
The match against University started a run of four home games for the Thistle.
The side will face three of the current bottom four sides in the next three Saturdays.
For the Students, this was their first defeat of the season, having played three of their five games on the synthetic pitch at Ian McLennan Park.
Next weekend, it will be another tall order for the side to host a Shell Cove team who are two-from-two this season.
Shell Cove most recently defeated the still reigning District League champions Oak Flats 7-0.
Helensburgh Thistle 4 (Brad Watts 11’ 25’, Kade Kinsella 28’ 49’)
University FC 0
Helensburgh Thistle: 1. PAULL Jordan, 2. FOX Mitchel, 4. HOPE Ryan, 12. MUCCI Joel, 7. UNICOMB Liam, 8. PATTERSON Vaughan, 5. TURRALL Peter, 9. KINSELLA Kade, 10. WATTS Brad, 13. JONES Charlie
Substitutes: 11. HEWSON Blake (MUCCI 62’), 6. CURREY Blake (UNICOMB 74’), 14. WATTS Benjamin (Brad WATTS 65’), 86. BROWN Connor
University FC: 31. KIPPS Jordan, 15. KEARTON Alex, 20. FRKOVIC Brooklan, 2. MORGAN Lachlan, 4. FLINT-PETERSON Eamon, 30. INGLIS Luke, 8. SIMMS Jordan, 19. COETZER Alex, 33. SCAPIN Matheus, 23. SINCLAIR Ryan, 12. HANSON Cameron
Substitutes: 14. GIGLIOTTI Anthony (SIMMS 73’), 3. HAWKES Ashley (KEARTON 65’), 9. PRUKS Oscar (COETZER 53’), 17. WILSON Nicholas, 1. JOYCE Benjamin
Date: Sunday 15 May 2022
Venue: Rex Jackson Oval
Referee: Demi Goddard
Assistant Referees: Stuart Bell and Helmut Lux
Report by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_
Photo courtesy of Helensburgh Thistles Soccer Club