Melville face league leaders

Melville host northern premier league co-leaders Auckland United at Gower Park on Saturday (July 4) as they forage for their first points in a truncated season.

This will be the first northern league encounter between Melville and the newly minted Auckland United (though Melville did beat them 4-2 in a February pre-season match).

Auckland United is an off-season amalgamation of Onehunga Sports and Three Kings United arrive as league co-leaders thanks to a 3-0 win over Waitakere then a 2-1 home win over Western Springs.

By contrast Melville have suffered two narrow losses against powerful opposition but will be back to full strength with defender Luke Searle over a one-match suspension and certain to join the starting lineup.

Auckland feature two recent All Whites in their squad: Monty Patterson with 15 A international appearances and Clayton Lewis with 13 A internationals under his belt.

But Melville’s players will relish the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with them at domestic level.

Features of Melville’s efforts last week was a return to form by Mark Jones, Sean Liddicoat making another strong showing, and Kieran Richards continuing his goal-a-game form and Max Tommy saving a penalty.

On July 11 Melville are away to Wanderers Sports Club at Porritt Stadium where their tenure of The Soccer Shop Challenge Trophy will be contested.

# In Friday night football Melville Old Bpoys are at home to Claudelands Rovers O35s at 7pm on Gower 2.

Meanwhile Melville women are away to Otumoetai on Sunday after going down 2-1 to Papamoa last Sunday.

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