Melville v Te Atatu, March 17

Melville play their final pre-season match on Saturday (March 17) at 11.30am (note changed time) at Gower Park (either No 7 or No 2) before embarking on their 2018 northern league campaign.

It’s the traditional fixture against Te Atatu, who Melville AFC beat 2-1 in 1987, in their very first Chatham Cup tie as a club. (A young Stu Timings starred for Melville.)

Te Atatu’s ranks include former Melville goalkeeper Eddie Trubshoe, custodian in the club’s Chatham Cup final appeasrance in 2003, and player of the year in 2004.

Meanwhile Melville beat Cambridge (Northern league Div 2) 2-0 at Gower under lights on Thursday night. It was a messy, scrappy showing on a bumpy pitch that was hard on the eyes, but a third successive pre-season win. Le Bon Bulamba – nicknamed “Big Jama” in some quarters – scored a goal in each half.

Last Saturday Claudleands Rovers 3-1 in their third pre-season game, playing very well in the first third and then surviving two scrappy 30 minutes spells.

Welshman Josh Davies came off the bench to make his Melville debut, while another feature was the efforts of rising 17-year-old Levi Clark who was selected to start in midfield. Rovers featured a few vaguely familiar faces.

Melville’s northern league season begins with a home game against Oratia United on Saturday March 24, 3pm. However Melville’s No 1 pitch is not expected to be ready for that game.

Melville’s full draw…

Melville northern league draw 2018

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