Making Hayes a hat trick while sun shines
Liam Hayes (above, PHOTO: Marc McMullan) scored his maiden first team hat trick as Melville hammered Franklin United 10-0 at Gower Park.
With Manukau City only drawing with Mt Albert Ponsonby, Melville’s win left them just two points adrift of second place with nine matches left to play.
The scoreline equalled the club’s all-time home record score set against Tauranga on April 25 but could not quite touch the eye-rubbing away record of 12-0 against Metro on May 27 this year.
And Hayes, Melville’s stand-out 19-year-old central midfielder, doubled his season tally to six goals, with a little help from Marc “Hitman” Evans, who already had four in the bank when a penalty was awarded midway through the second half.
Though he is chasing Mark Cossey’s 1996 Superclub season record of 35 goals in a Melville season, Evans magnanimously surrendured his rights to the 63rd minute penalty in favour in Hayes, who drilled it past Franklin’s erudite goalkeeper Glen Pascoe (who at the aftermatch declared Melville’s former aberrant programme columnist Cordwainer Bull was his favourite football writer, which was nice).
“I’m not a stats kind of guy, but at that point I realised I already had 29 goals [three in the Cup] for the season, including six hat tricks and two occasions where I’d scored more than three,” Evans said.
“And it’s not all about me. It’s about Liam as well, so I suggested he take the spot kick – and he took it well enough to be considered a good back up if for some strange reason I am ever not present in future.
“Liam has been one of our most consistent performers, and if he is any sort of stats guy, he will appreciate he is one of only two Melville players to have started in every match this season, something even I haven’t managed. That should be respected.”
Hayes is a nephew of former Waikato United skipper Brian (Captain Marvel) Hayes – who did pop along and watch him against Metro last month.
At five-foot nothing, and with a chest like a ripped sofa, the budding central midfielder looks nothing like Marvel, but does have a fantastic shot on him, and had already scored against Franklin in the 29th and 50th minutes.
Hayes lives by the mantra “The more you seek the uncomfortable, the more comfortable you become”.
But so far this season the only thing that has managed to make him uncomfortable, has been Melville’s aftermatch food and persistent negative feedback from team mates on his musical preferences.
As a contest, despite yet another avalanche of goals, the match was not a particularly good watch.
Franklin – who Melville face again in the Chatham Cup on June 24 – were always in trouble after they had a defender sent off in the first minute for a professional foul on Stafford Dowling as he sped goalward and from then on the result was a foregone conclusion.
Evans netted in the 10th, 34th, 40th and 56th minutes.
Jama Boss scored his first goals – one in each half – since returning to Melville from Wanderers, while sub Steven Holloway – who is desperate for it to be known that previous reports were incorrect and he is not yet 37 – added a curious scooped shot in the 80th minute. The thrush-bearded 3*-year-old has now scored four goals this season.
Franklin had another player sent off for chipping at the ref late in the game.
Franklin coach Geoff Cooper paid tribute to Melville.
“You had too much pace and movement – we couldn’t live with you,” he said.
Melville co-coach Sam Wilkinson was delighted Melville had been so clinical in front of goal in naming Evans player of the day.
Kyle Wisnewski – older brother of Logan – made his first team debut for Melville coming off the bench for a cameo at left back.
Melville are at home to North Shore on Saturday.
# Melville Reserves beat Franklin 4-0, to remain three points behind league leaders Ellerslie.
After benefiting from an own goal, Melville wide man Jono Viviani netted a brilliant second half hat trick.
Viviani’s previous claim to fame at Melville was having the second-best footballer-sounding name – behind only women’s second team player Summer Gunn – but that has now changed, with his excellent finishing including a left-foot volley from the right flank.