Nobs’ big day out
A re-jigged Melville Nobs team moved closer to the Waikato Division 1 title with an emphatic 9-1 home win over Waihi.
The Nobs trail Claudelands Wallys by a point, but with a game in hand, and after this big win have a slightly better goal difference.
The match was promoted as the Nobs annual “Family Day” – though it is a worry the aftermatch photo (below) suggests the club has a surplus of solo dads and dearth of wives – but by the end it was more of a “Butcher’s Picnic” as the Nobs slaughtered plucky opponents.
Last week’s goalscoring heroes, Sam Wilkinson and Michael Mayne were both axed, after rumbling squad unhappiness a duo better known for their coaching prowess had unwittingly stolen the limelight from less talented team mates.
In particular there was a festering concern their talent was stifling the ability of player-coach Gav Douglas to fully express himself.
And it proved a managerial masterstroke as their enforced absence allowed a less intimidated Douglas to regain his confidence and rediscover his own goalscoring touch with a hat trick.
But 37-year-old Avi Raju was Melville’s player of the day after a break-out performance in which he scored his first two goals for the Nobs. Subesh Naidu also got two, though in a weird way, his performance was far more memorable for a failed bicycle kick.
Campbell Wood had a tidy bottom left finish as well.
The Nobs also has the good grace to give game time to their latest find, an up-and-comer by the name of Aaron Scott, who repaid their charity with a screamer of a goal after being given a chance off the bench. More may yet be heard of this lad Scott, who was recommended to Nobs management by his astute brothers-in-law, who had spotted raw potential in him in backyard Nixon St kick-arounds.
But it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Nobs. Greg Hobson missed from six yards, continuing a 2-year goal drought matched only by team mate Rory Noorland.
Hamish Utteridge left the game early with an injured shoulder and Waihi’s goal was a head-scratching penalty. Keeper Stu Campbell was fouled hard going up for a cross, but the ref blew for some other foul that no one on either team saw.
Meanwhile Melville Premier Women recorded a 4-2 home win over Otumoetai to rise to fifth on the table. [More to come.]
In Div 3 Melville Old Boys could only draw 1-1 with Claudelands Rovers Over 35s, but they are happily 8 points clear at the top of the table.
Feature of the match was 62-year-old Mark Cossey turning out for Rovers, with his presence cunningly disguised by having reverted to the permed hairstyle he last favoured in 1982.
Old Boys didn’t recognise him at first.
“Until he opened his mouth and started making all these silly appeals for offsides and throw ins and fouls we thought it was Bruno,” said Melville club captain Phil Wheatley.
Cossey is Melville’s second greatest first team goalscorer ever, but last played for the club in 2002 – and even then he didn’t have a perm.
Melville Mighty Bs drew 1-1 with Rovers squatters and are third in Div 1, six points behind the Nobs
Melville Cs came from behind to beat Northern United Humblebees 3-1, with goals from Greg Holt, Chris Wakefield, and Kerehama Chalmers. Player of the day was goalkeeper Tyler Martin.