Melville Reserves go top, first team bottom

Melville Reserves are riding high a point clear at the top of the Northern Premier Reserve League, but the first team must bounce back from one of their worst northern league defeats when they host Western Springs on Saturday.

Melville were hammered 8-1 away to Birkenhead, in a match where Justin Harden and Jake Bayliss were sent off.

Earlier Jake Mechell had given Melville a first minute lead, and minutes later had a second erroneously ruled out for offside. But a short-staffed Melville found the going tough in the second half, though teenager Liam Steffert turned in a fine performance.

Ninth-placed Western Springs drew 2-2 with Three Kings.

Meanwhile Melville Reserves returned to the top of the table with a 4-3 away win over Birkenhead, a popular result in some quarters given European bookmakers Bet 365 were running a book on it with generous odds.

Melville are also excelling in other competitions.

Melville lead the Waibop women’s league by four points after a 3-0 away win over Waikato Unicol, though Rotorua United have two games in hand.

And the Melville women’s development team are a point clear at the top of the Waikato women’s league after a 3-2 home win over Huntly Thistle.

Melville Red also lead the WaiBop Federation U-15s league by two points after a 9-2 away win over Otumoetai.

In the senior Federation Premiership Melville United have moved into third after a 6-1 win at Tauranga City United. Dylan Blair hit a hat trick for Melville, Mahmood Alfarraji got two, and Tauranga coughed up an own goal.

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