Weekend wrap: Naidu nets for Nobs
Melville Nobs (New Old Boys) hammered Cambridge A 7-0, in what was a dizzying personal triumph for Nob head, Raj Naidu, who was delighted to finally score a goal for the team he has lovingly administratively nurtured through conception and infancy.
And Melville’s Nobs and Gobs Old Boys teams have arguably displayed even fancier footwork in managing to avoid each other in the semifinals of the Soccer Shop Waikato Cup, to be contested on August 12.
The Nobs, steaming hot knockout favourites, have been drawn against Otorohanga, while the Gobs (Genuine Old Boys) have Cambridge B, with venues still to be declared.
Even the glory of another Hamish Uttridge hat trick for the Nobs was overshadowed by Naidu’s super drought-breaker, as he seized upon a loose ball and leathered home a cleat-rocket from the edge of the danger box to now leave just Rory Noorland, Blair Hoad and Greg Hobson goal-less from the Nobs this season. No pressure, lads.
Naidu, usually right back, was released to right wing so the Nobs could exploit his raw pace, and he was typically quick to open up a can of awesome.
“When you put quality up front, this is what you get,” Naidu reflected, with half a warning to the Melville Gobs not too mark him too tightly should they meet in the cup final.
“It was a glorious strike – a winger’s goal rather than a whinger’s goal.”
Naidu has now scored as many goals as his older twin brother Subesh, who hibernates in midfield.
Lesser goals were potted by Justin Harden (real name, not a porn name), Gavin Douglas and Jason Chewins
For the Nobs the artistic Josh Billman painted a lovely canvas in midfield, but Harden was stiffed with two yellow cards and sent off.
Meanwhile the Gobs got home in a 3-2 thriller, away to seriously unloved Eastern City.
While there was the usual niggle, Melville were delighted to leave a nicely muddied Hillcrest Park without any fisticuffs for once.
Robbie Orchard, occasionally mistaken for Karl Pilkington, nabbed an important early goal for the Gobs, but Stu Timings chimed in with an own goal to leave the game in the balance at half time.
French import Arnaud Schleiffer put Melville back in front 10 minutes into the second half, and Orchard-Pilkington added the third.
Eastern were well in contention and reduced the deficit, but brilliant goalkpeeing thwarted them, as they missed two penalties and were denied other clearcut chances.”
Melville club captain Phil Wheatley described the Gobs win as inspirational.
“I’ve always felt that the greatest asset of the Old Boys is not physical ability, but mental ability,” Wheatley said. “The best inspiration is not to outdo others, but to outdo ourselves.
“Winning starts with complete command of the fundamentals. But it also takes desire, determination, discipline, self-sacrifice, and a pint on Thursday nights.”
And speaking of inspirational, goal sniffer Dylan “Hitman” Blair (above) potted a hat trick as Melville Feds nudged ahead of Rotorua United and into ninth spot in the Federation league after a 3-3 draw against West Hamilton at Gower Park.
If he keeps up this form, could an in-form Dylan go on to win the Golden Boot? The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind.