It’s derby day

Melville enter their northern premier league derby match with Wanderers Sports Club on Saturday (3pm, Porritt Stadium) chastened by having lost their opening three matches of the season.

The last time the teams met, Melville spanked Wanderers 5-0 to claim The Soccer Shop Challenge Trophy contested between the two clubs, and they then drew 3-3 pre-season.

But while Melville have played some attractive football this season, so far they have nothing to show for their endeavours.

“You look back and for large parts of our games we have played very very well against three strong sides, only to finish empty handed,” said coach Sam Wilkinson, who is trying to stay positive (despite not being selected for the Melville Nobs’ home Friday night match).

“Once again we have trained very well midweek, so we have a good platform from which we can produce a winning display, but we will have to wait and see.”

Melville lost defender Jack Portegys midweek when he elected to transfer back to Cambridge after making appearances from the bench but failing to break into the starting line-up.

That disappointed Wilkinson, who has been encouraging his younger squad members to apply themselves, learn their craft and force their way into selection rather than settle for playing at lower levels.

Wilkinson will of course also be looking for more from his remaining defenders as well after they have shipped 10 goals in their first three games.

Melville are second from bottom on the table, three points behind ninth-placed Wanderers.

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