Final pre-season run

Melville will conclude their 2021 northern premier league pre-season with an in-house squad match at 9am on Saturday (March 20) at St Peter’s Cambridge.

The change has been made after North Shore United were unable to secure a pitch for a previously planned away match. Gower Park is still out of action following renovations. A lower-key fixture may also assist with Melville having four players returning from injury.

Meanwhile there is still uncertainty over Melville’s start to the season. Under the draft draw Melville were drawn away to Manukau United on March 27, but that club has advised it does not have a pitch available. The fixture could be reversed and played at Gower – if Gower No 1 has recovered from its autumn renovation by then. Further updates will be advised in due course

Otherwise Melville’s first home game of the season will be on Good Friday.

Melville recorded an encouraging 3-2 away win over Birkenhead United on March 13. The game was played on a less than desirable pitch at Westlake Boys High but teams were happy to find any venue in these difficult times.

There was a Jekyll-and-Hyde nature to Melville’s performance, if that is not too negative a term for team sensibilities. Melville created some outstanding play – but were also guilty of losing concentration at critical times.

However coach Sam Wilkinson was happy with a win against a club which has typically been one of the stronger performers in the premier league.

Melville were never behind in the game and led 1-0, 2-1 and 3-1.

Jama Boss broken his long goalscoring drought with two goals. Boss would be the first to admit one of them was a deflection, but Wilkinson described his goals as “a real confidence boost”.

“When Jama is confident he is one of the most dangerous players around.

The other goal was scored by Jerson Lagos who came off the bench for a lively cameo.

Others to impress were starters Lachie McIsaac, playing against his old club, Josh Galletly and Moh Reynolds.

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