Preseason progress

Melville continued their 2021 northern premier league build-up with a 1-0 away win over Tauranga City.

That followed from a 3-1 away loss to Bay Olympic a week earlier.

Melville coach Sam Wilkinson described the Tauranga win as “scruffy” despite his team always being comfortable on a small bumpy pitch.

“The finishing could have been better,” Wilkinson said. That is coach-speak for Melville having missed some goobers.

The goal was scored early in the first half by Lachie McIsaac with a header from a cross from the right supplied by Moh Reynolds.

McIsaac is a Birkenhead United product that some may have heard of, while the quick, lively Reynolds is a new signing, previously with Auckland United, who is now on scholarship at St Peter’s for his final school year. Reynolds had earlier shown his commitment to Melville when he turned out as a guest player at the Napier U19 tournament last year.

McIsaac also scored for Melville in the loss to Bay Olympic.

Wilkinson was grateful to Tauranga for hosting the match at a time when play was not possible with Auckland clubs, and Gower Park was out of action with No 1 and No 6 pitches under renovation.

Wilkinson described the loss against Bay Olympic as having been of great value. It was the toughest of Melville’s four pre-season games and a truer reflection of what in-season matches will be like.

“It was a very competitive match and did a lot of good.”

Melville were undone by a couple of goals from crosses.

On Saturday (March 13) Melville are away to Birkenhead United with the match tentatively scheduled for 3pm at Westlake Boys High.

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