Melville 2018: A Statistician’s delight

Melville’s northern league season was not only the most successful single season on record for the club in terms of winning matches, but also a statistician’s delight.

Melville triumphed in the 2018 northern league first division, winning 20 of their 22 matches, drawing one and losing one – and also sending club statistician Ron Anorak into paroxysms of delight.

Everybody now knows the mighty Unicorns secured the Northern League Division One title and lifted the Thomson Shield with three matches to spare, eventually winning by a whopping margin of 16 points. Their tally of 61 points was a record for a 12-team first division, in a league which was first contested in 1965. Their goal tally of 71 was a club record, while they conceded just 18 goals. Both their goals scored and their goal difference were the highest across all men’s and women’s northern league football.

But for Anorak it was the finer detail which made far more interesting reading.

During the season Aaron Scott overtook his brother-in-law Josh Billman as the most capped Melville first team player, eventually finishing with 268 appearances to Josh’s 251.

Scott’s goal in the final game against Mt Albert Ponsonby also earned him a share of a more obscure honour: that header gave him a 15-year margin between scoring his first goal for Melville (2003) and his most recent (2018). That equals the 15-year span covered by former striker Steven Holloway, who scored his first first team Melville goal in 2002, and his last in 2017.

Scott’s goal also took the number of different goalscorers in Melville’s season to 15, one more than in 2002, 2008, and 2014.

Melville also had a record four players score on first team debut for Melville, in Mark Jones, Josh Davies, Ernest Pidoke and Leslie Kivolyn. Two other players, Jama Boss and Le Bon Bulamba, scored on seasonal debut. Kivolyn’s hat trick on debut as a sub was the first ever for Melville.

Jam Boss was top scorer with 22 goals across league and cup, while he also won the northern league divisional golden boot. Davies scored 18 goals and teenager Jordan Lamb a highly respectable 14.

Levi Clark, 17, was Melville’s most used sub, making 14 appearances off the bench. That is one better than Jake Bayliss in 2016, and three better than Aaron Scott in 2003.

The 29 players Melville used in 2018 was one less than the record 30 who took the pitch in 2004, when the luminaries included Eddie Trubshoe, Wayne Bates, Josh Billman, LJ Pijnenburg, and of course Aaron Scott – and at the fringe there were sub appearances from the likes of Stu Timings, Andy Edwards, Matt Hastings, and Peter Robson.

And it equalled the 29 players called upon in 2002, where the stars included Grant Cooper, Gavin Douglas, Neil Mouncher, Michael Mayne, Sam Wilkinson, Steven Holloway, Matt Williams, Ross Morley, Andy Irvine and Declan Edge.

Melville gave game time to a record 18 teenagers in 2018, with Josh Galletly superceding Liam Hayes as Melville’s youngest-ever first team player, at 15-years, 3 months. Galletly made two appearances as sub in Melville’s final two matches of the season.

Elsewhere Luke Searle made history by variously appearing as player, team manager and physiotherapist in the same season on Melville’s matchday team sheets.

Melville prizegiving is set for The Atrium, Wintec’s city campus, Friday October 12, from 6.30pm. Register your attendance HERE, entry $25.

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