Onehunga: Massive Cup challenge

Melville’s coaches have welcomed a seemingly formidable fourth round Chatham Cup tie,in which we have been drawn away to Onehunga Sports on July 15 (2pm).

Onehunga sit top of the northern premier league, having lost just once in 2017, and in the previous round Onehunga beat Hibiscus Coast 5-1. Making it more challenging is the fact several Melville players are unavailable that day, including skipper Aaron Scott.

But Melville co-coach Sam Wilkinson described it as “a huge but exciting challenge against arguably the strongest club side in the country”.

“There is very little pressure on us and we will be fearless going into the game,” he said. “The odds are massively stacked against us but as a club we thrive on being written off.

“We have a group of players that have aspirations to play at a high level, so this is an ideal opportunity for them to showcase their ability.”

Co-coach Michael Mayne said all matches were tough at this stage of the Cup.

“But this is an exciting task and challenge to try knock these guys over.”

Mayne was at the helm of unfancied Waitemata last year when they upset Central United.

In 2014 Onehunga knocked Melville out of the cup in the quarterfinals, 2-1 at Gower. In 1994 Melville AFC beat Onehunga 4-2 in the third round.

The Onehunga match pushes the league away match against Ellerslie to the end of the season on September 9.

Melville are at home to Mt Albert Ponsonby on Saturday (July 1) 2.45pm

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