The Wrap: Nooijens inspires Knights
It’s been a challenging season for the Melville Knights in the Waikato B Division, but thanks largely to Josh Nooijens (above) they have picked up their third win.
The Knights grabbed a much-needed 4-2 victory over Huntly Thistle to finally move out of the bottom two on the table.
Nooijens was happy to drop from the Melville Reserves and play the role of Knight-errant, wandering the land in search of adventures to prove his chivalric goalscoring virtues, and duly potted a hat trick.
Melville took early control of the game but fell behind in unfortunate circumstances at Gower Park when a “cross” from Huntly floated over the keeper’s head.
But Melville quickly struck back with Nooijens – who can run like a scalded cat – nudging two home before half time.
Huntly struck back early in the second half but Nooijens bagged his hat trick by chipping the keeper.
Tin Chhoung (correct) put the game away for the Knights with a blistering strike from the edge of the box.
Meanwhile Melville Gobs (Genuine Old Boys) beat Waihi 4-1 to remain third in the B Division. Robbie Orchard and Matt Leaver scored two apiece as the Gobs came from a goal down, with Todd Nasmith player of the day.
# Melville Feds are in trouble in the Federation League after Taupo beat them 3-1 at Gower. Melville trailed 1-0 at the break and Dylan Blair scored in the second half, played in by a player who wished to remain nameless.
Melville are 10th in the league but only lead 11th-placed Tauranga Boys College on goal difference, after the schoolboys won 3-0 at home over Rotorua United.
# Melville D’s enter the first round of the D Division top six this weekend (away to Unicol) with a lead of six points carried over from the first round.
Though their latest win was rather hollow, after opponents Claudelands Newbies could only muster six players. So a friendly was played with some Melville players gifted, and was played in good spirits.
# Melville Nobs won 6-0 away to Matamata Swifts, to remain three points clear of Ngaruawahia at the top of the A Division. Josh Billman was pleased to score one of the goals. Melville Young Guns lost 2-1 to C Division leaders West Hamilton.
# Melville premier women collected their second win of the WaiBop league with a 2-0 home victory over Tokoroa, to move up to fifth on the table.
But Melville Development lost 0-3 away to Whakatane, ahead of the expected return of coach Lance Vervoort from his overseas fact-finding mission.
Due to a range of illnesses and injuries, Melville Development were down to 9 players for the match, but Epics team members, Andrea Timings, Megan Vinnicombe and Tash Huxtable stepped up to help field a full side.
Melville held strong composure and possession for the first 30 minutes of the match, particularly with the experience of Timings directing the backline and midfield. Jessie Begbie-Hall and Leilani Fellowes had outstanding games defensively, and Vinnicombe and Huxtable were ruthless in holding out a strong Whakatane attack.
Sharleen Murray, Johnelle Wereta, Laura Schnuriger, and Hannah Simcock worked tirelessly to get past the Whakatane defence and Melville’s striker, Summer Gunn, was unlucky to have narrowly missed a couple golden opportunities to get on the scoreboard.
Just before half-time, Whakatane’s captain found a gap in the Melville midfield and took a clean shot between the posts. Melville’s new keeper, Selena Timings, got her hands to the ball but the power behind the shot pushed it to the back of the net.
The second half was just as tight as the first, but Whakatane had the advantage of more subs to get fresh players on the field and continued to lift the intensity. Unfortunately, Melville gave away multiple corners and Whakatane capitalised on two of them with class.
Melville were proud of their efforts given the teams’ circumstances. Begbie-Hall received Players Player of the Day (for the third time), and Fellowes received Coaches Player of the Day.
Melville Premier women and Melville Development have rescheduled their federation league game to Thursday 24 August, Gower Park No 2, 7pm.