Jama inspires first-up win
Josh Galletly scored his maiden northern premier league goal, and Jama Boss bagged his first premier league haul-of-four as Melville beat Manukau United 5-3 in a thrilling northern premier league season opener at Gower Park.
It was Melville’s first opening day win of the season at northern premier league level since 2010.
The match also doubled as the Joma Challenge Cup fixture between two clubs (both sponsored by the Joma apparel brand) and at the conclusion of the day Melville lifted what they hope won’t be their only silverware for the season. (Next up on offer is The Soccer Shop Trophy versus Wanderers, at home on Easter Monday.)
The match was a roller-coaster ride at the start as Galletly put Melville ahead in just the fourth minute with a crisp shot from the edge of the box which lodged just inside the post.
But 60 seconds later Manukau levelled when Maro Bonsu-Maro carved through the middle to easily net.
Then the Jama Boss show began in earnest. His first was a brilliant diving header at the far post from an excellent cross from Galletly in the 20th minute. He then added to that with a composed finish in the 32nd minute, though Manukau again bounced back when Moses Dyer scored from the penalty spot three minutes later.
Manukau had the upper hand at the start of the second half but Boss popped up with great finishes in the 74th minute, racing down the left, and then in the 82nd minute, surging down the right, to make the game safe, even allowing for Dyer grabbing a second in stoppage time.
Coach Sam Wilkinson was delighted.
“There are no easy games at this level and we had not had that particular XI out at any stage in pre-season,” he said, in naming Boss as an obvious man of the match.
Manukau coach Kevin Fallon had no complaints.
“It is a fantastic ground, the refs made a good showing,” he said. “Congratulations, it is as simple as that.”
Melville Reserves lost 3-2.
Melville are at home to Northern Rovers on Good Friday, 3pm.
Melville: Max Tommy, Logan Wisnewski, Aaron Scott, Jordan Shaw, Ryen Lawrence (Joel McMullan), Liam Hayes, Quinton Kipara (Liam Molloy), Ollie Valentine, Josh Galletly (Campbell Brown), Lachie McIsaac, Jama Boss.
Melville United 5 (Josh Galletly 4’, Jama Boss 20’ 32’ 74’ 82’)
Manukau United 3 (Maro Bonsu-Maro 5’, Moses Dyer 35’ 90+1’)