Melville’s Cup dream blown – but Reserves win
Melville will concentrate on staying in the northern premier league for the rest of the season after being turfed out of the Chatham Cup at home by division one club Mt Albert Ponsonby.
And that’s not a bad thing, given an awful lot more concentration will be needed to improve from this 3-2 loss, which marked the end of one of Melville’s all-time worst cup campaigns.
The close scoreline was little reflection of Melville’s ineptitude for most of the afternoon.
Melville had plenty of possession, but absolutely no penetration in attack, and the Alberts scored two fiurst half goals on the counter-attack, including an opener which took a wicked looping deflection.
Melville’s only attacking weapon of note was left back Ryan Taylor, who had more shots on goal that the entire forward line.
Melville were 3-0 down before getting on the board in the 84th minute, when Taylor earned a penalty. Marc Evans converted in his only contribution to proceedings for the day. Minutes later pressure from substitute Lachie McIsaac earned an own goal – the third of the afternoon – but there was to be no Lazarus-like comeback, and nor was one deserved after a generally limp showing from Melville.
Mt Albert Ponsonby had been helped by having played their league match on Friday night, but that couldn’t account for Melville’s shabby passing and lack of forward cohesion after such a fine showing on Saturday.
It was Mt Albert Ponsonby’s first cup win over Melville – though it should be noted they ejected Waikato United from the knockout competition in 1989 when The Bulls were the cup holders.
Melville coach Steve Williams praised the efforts of captain Aaron Scott, an ill Liam Steffert, and substitute Lachie McIsaac, but otherwise wondered if his players had celebrated too much after the fine win on Saturday.
“Life’s like that sometimes,” he said. “You get a smack in the face and you have to bounce back.”
Melville are at home to Bay Olympic on Saturday.
Meanwhile Melville Reserves won their away Knockout Cup tie against East Coast Bays 5-4 on penalties, thanks to heroics from keeper Jacob Daly.
It again showed the Reserves’ ability to win the tight contests under coach Merv “Lucky” Williams.
It was 1-1 after full time, with Mike Cosgrave having put Melville ahead in the first half.
In a protracted shootout Daly save the first penalty by diving to his right, the fourth by going left, and the seventh by diving right.
“I’d never won a shootout before,” he said, after confessing he’d had “a nightmare” in conceding Bays earlier equaliser.
Melville are seeking to improve upon their runners-up status in the Cup last year.
Meanwhile check out this video snip from Melville’s away loss to Birkenhead.