Supermac the super sub
Substitute Joel “Supermac” McMullan rolled home a 63rd-minute winner as Melville notched their third successive northern premier win with a gritty 1-0 victory over a strong North Shore United team at Gower Park.
Melville remain in third place on the table, behind Auckland United on goal difference and two points adrift of leaders Auckland City.
McMullan netted the winner from close range in the 63rd minute, shortly after coming on, with Jama Boss doing all the leg work down the right and squaring for an uncomplicated finish.
Shore played as well as any team seen at Gower this season, but they were unable to get past a resilient Melville, who were again without skipper Aaron Scott, but showed great character – and an ounce of luck – to take their season tally to 13 points from six matches.
The manner of victory was a personal triumph for Melville coach Sam Wilkinson who has worked overtime to convert McMullan from a fullback into a targetman, and Wilkinson duly named him as player of the day.
Shore peppered the Melville goal and it took some important defensive blocks and two good saves from Max Tommy to keep them out. Campbell Brown again showed his athletic prowess in defence and the 18-year-old is currently Melville’s most important stopper.
While disappointed in the loss, Shore coach Malcolm McPherson said it had been Shore’s best performance of the season and he considered his team to be in fine form for a match with Auckland City next week.
Melville coach Sam Wilkinson reflected on how Melville have turned in numerous pretty performances in recent years only to leave empty-handed, so it was satisfying to pocket three points when they could well have lost.
The secret to Melville’s success was basic. “We are good as a collective,” he said. “We knit together well.”
With a quarter of the season now complete, Melville face their first away match next week against Birkenhead United.