Melville’s magic comeback
Super Melville burst back from an early two-goal deficit to dump Western Springs from the top of the northern premier league table with a rousing 5-3 win.
It was one of the great comebacks at Gower Park and stirring stuff as Melville shrugged off an early tap in and then penalty to Sam Margetts, to pepper home five goals on the trot – two before half time and three after – in a contest where they were hindered by the unavailability of skipper Aaron Scott.
The win has elevated them to third on the table, just two points behind new leaders Auckland City.
Lachie McIsaac, 22, led the comeback with a crisp shot in the 29th minute, then had the assist when a further shot from him could only be parried for Moh Reynolds to net in the 40th minute.
It was 17-year-old Reynolds’ first goal for Melville and his delight was only matched by that of his secod in the 50th ,minute, following a big run down the right, five minutes into the second spell.
Then left back Ollie Valentine, 20, got in on the act in the 54th minute, also claiming his first northern premier league goal after some great work down his flank.
By this time anything seemed possible and after a few party tricks Jama Boss took Melville to a safe three-goal margin with his first goal since the opening day of the season.
Former All White Kayne Vincent pulled a goal back in the 77th minute but Melville closed the game out without further drama.
Melville coach Sam Wilkinson was delighted with the win.
He praised his whole squad, but made a point of noting Reynolds’ contribution, the steady job of right back Raheem Hunter-Ali on debut for Melville and the efforts of centre back Adam Luque in making his first start for Melville
“When you are 2-0 down early against the league leaders it would be easy to implode,” he said. “But we showed a lot of composure.
“In the 15 minutes before half time and 20 minutes after, we looked the best we have all season.”
Wilkinson hailed stand-in skipper Liam Hayes, but gave player of the day to McIsaac, who added the class that had been in shorter supply a week earlier.
Melville Reserves drew 3-3 with Western Springs.
Melville are at home to seventh-placed North Shore on Saturday.