Melville set new league benchmark
Melville wrapped up their brilliant 2018 title-winning campaign with a 3-0 home win over fourth-placed Mt Albert Ponsonby, notching a northern league record in the process.
Club statistician Ron Anorak advised Melville’s winning points tally of 61 was a record for a northern league division one season in a 12-team league, bettering the 60 points Metro amassed in 1994. (In a 13-team league in 2009 Three Kings got 62 points, and in a 14-team league in 2000 Central United got 64 points. Three points for a win was introduced to the league in 1984; prior to that it was 2 points for a win.)
In the clubrooms afterwards the Thomson Shield was re-presented to skipper Aaron Scott by former Melville coach Steve Williams, who won the shield with his 1993 team (which lost just 2 and drew 2 of its 22 matches).
Williams praised the team and coaches Sam Wilkinson and Michael Mayne.
“You have given us a real edge and the whole club is looking solid,” Williams said. “You have done a fantastic job.”
And he urged Melville to go further, noting how his Class of ’93 went on to win the premier league two seasons later,
Scott said it was nice to be holding something of value in again lifting the oversize shield, which will remain on display in the clubrooms once display arrangement have been finalised.
“It was nice to finish the season on a high note, with a bit of style,” Scott said. “Me scoring doesn’t often happen.”
Scott said the challenge would continue for Melville next season.
“I’m already looking forward to resuming derbies with Wanderers. We’ve already taken their best players, now we want to take points off them.”
With a goal difference of 53, Melville scored the most (71) and conceded the least (18).
Jama Boss secured the golden boot with 20 goals from 20 league matches, and the second-placed goalscorer in league standings, Waiheke United’s Marc Who, was fittingly on hand in the Melville clubrooms to magnanimously acknowledge Boss as the superior marksman.
“Roedd ganddo dymor gwych,” the Welshman said, in a brief tribute to his friend Boss.
Melvile finished the season by fielding their A team after giving all the kids a run the previous week.
Skipper Aaron Scott powered home a header to notch his first goal of the season, after Mark Jones curled in an 11th minute free kick for a text book far post header.
Jordan Lamb and Josh Davies also chipped in, as Melville moved 15 points clear of second placed North Shore, whose game was abandoned due to fighting.
Lamb’s was a fine solo effort in sprinting around the outside of the Alberts’ defence hitting the byline and cutting in to finish. Davies received good service from dreadlocked sub Harry Christensen-Rose to net his 15th league goal (third in the standings) while Lamb finished with nine (ninth).
Meanwhile Melville Reserves drew 4-4 with Mt Albert Ponsonby in a roller-coaster contest, going 1-0 down, 3-1 up, and then 4-3 down before Ryen Lawrence burst through the middle to level in the final minute. It was Lawrence’s second goal of the match, while Sean Leadley and Prince Mabounda also scored for Melville.
# Melville U23s beat Tokoroa 1-0 away with a first half goal from Ben Wheatley, to move to fourth on the table.