WEEKEND WRAP: Cup fever
Cup dreams live on for Melville United – and not just in the Chatham Cup where Melville have made the final 16 for the third time in five years after dismissing Franklin 7-1 with yet another hat trick to Marc Evans.
At lower level Melville Nobs and Gobs are through to the next round of the (men’s) Waikato Knockout, while Melville Reserves had a 4-1 away win over Wanderers in the northern reserves plate knockout, and Melville Knights finally found form to progress in the knockout plate.
And in women’s ranks Melville Prems and Melville Development are through to the third round of the knockout after clearcut wins – though Melville Epics got thistled 7-1 by Huntly in the Women’s A Bowl.
# Melville Ressies strolled to an always appreciated win over Wanderers thanks to a brace in the first half from Josh Nooijens and two in the second half from Jake Bayliss.
# The women’s Prems beat Tokoroa 4-1 in their second trip this month to the delights of Strathmore Park, where the only respite from a bitter southerly was, erm, light drizzle.
Last time out the difference between these teams was a Nat Mora header – and Tokoroa were keen to not let that happen again.
Didn’t work. Two minutes in and Tokoroa conceded a corner. Kelsie MacKintosh put in a pinpoint delivery and skipper Mora ran to the front post were she flicked the ball in to the top corner leaving the Tokoroa defence fighting with themselves.
There was further excitement when the opposition coach’s daughter (No.8) took it upon herself to try and fight both MacKintosh sisters (Kelsie & Clare) – before deciding she wasn’t too keen after all.
This fired up the game and just before half time some well-worked passing had Captain Fantastic in space again with Ali Galletly in support. Mora slotted bottom left and doubled the lead going into halftime.
Second half was a more Melville dominant half with good use of possession and both wing backs pushing well forward on attack. Some good balls into the box from Kendal Gaby-Sutherland and Isla Allen were unlucky not to be converted..
Then came another moment of madness from Tokoroa’s No.8, while pursing a through ball. Plenty of elbows and shirt pulling with Ali Galletly meant Konagh Garrett was apple to nip ahead of both and slot the ball into the bottom right. Tokoroa protested but the goal was allowed to stand.
No.8’s day got even worse when she bought down Kendal just outside the box and earned herself a yellow. Kelsie MacKintosh was unlucky not to score off the free kick as her header missed the post by a few inches.
Tokoroa got one back when they broke in behind and squared the ball. Steph Murray stopped the ball but her momentum dragged her away from it and it was driven home.
But Melville were gifted a goal back almost instantly when a deep cross from Kelsie was chipped home by none other than Tokoroa’s No.8.
“All in all a solid performance with some good play from younger players,” said coach Laichyn Parkinson.
Steph Murray picked up the New Delhi Indian Restaurant manager’s player of the day after some solid work at centre back and holding midfield. Allen picked up the TDO coaches player of the day after an impressive display on defense and attack with good support play.
It was Yvette Stevenson’s last game before heading overseas for July, and after conceding just two goals from her eight games, it leaves some big gloves to fill. Stevenson will be back in August.
# Melville Development were without key players Johnelle Wereta, Leilani Fellowes and Sarah Mete due to illness, but beat Wanderers 5-2 at Porritt. And they still had enough in the tank – and the wallet – afterwards to take gaffer Lance Vervoort to The Dinsdale Office to celebrate his 38th birthday.
In a reshuffled line-up, Nat Hallett gave a stand-out performance as sweeper, while Jana Furlan created countless opportunities down the wing, and Sharleen Murray dominated in the midfield.
Melville held the majority of possession for the first half of the match, stringing together quality passes, and securing two tidy goals before half time without conceding.
Wanderers entered the second half hungrier, but it was only minutes before Melville secured their third goal. Over the next 40 minutes, Melville and Wanderers scored a goal apiece.
Striker Summer Gunn and aspiring model Erica Teare scored two goals apiece, both eagerly working hard to get a hat trick. And Furlan scored a well-deserved effort from “sniffing around the goal-box” – as coach Vervoort would say.
Furlan was awarded Players Player of the Day and Shar Murray was awarded player of the day, both for their leadership in consistently challenging for the ball and creating great opportunities on attack.
# Stand-in goalkeeper Brendan “Snowy” Dickinson was the biggest subject of conversation as Melville Gobs (Genuine Old Boys) beat Claudelands Rovers Vets 6-1.
While Matt Leaver scored a hat trick and Big Phil Wheatley continued his golden winter shower of scoring, it was Snowy, who doubles as Melville’s club chaplain, who turned heads the most.
“Please God make Snowy turn up today,” beseeched short-staffed player-coach Stu Timings in advance of kick-off – and lo and behold barely a minute later Dickinson materialised outside the clubrooms.
“A miracle,” concluded the watching Wheatley, not always a believer, but now a witness of Jehovian stature.
Dickinson also loudly entered the enduring debate over Melville’s dodgy goalkeeping colours (first started by Tony “Gray” Govorko two weeks ago) in proudly turning out for the Gobs with a top which was so deep purple that Ritchie Blackmore (ask yer Dad) came to mind.
It effectively made him the “Christian” to Govorko’s “Gray”.
As a man of the cloth, Dickinson knows that in Christianity, purple is the colour for penitence and mourning, and is thus also the liturgical colour for Lent, which was fitting, because on the day Snowy was being lent to the undermanned Gobs.
And Dickinson was happy to invoke biblical wisdom in offering his take on colours.
“Do not judge lest ye be judged,” he warned. “Let he who is free from purple and gray cast the first stone. And for that matter, let’s not have so many people walking around Gower Park with rocks in their pocket.”
# The Nobs (New Old Boys) asserted themselves with a 4-1 win over Claudelands Rovers Squatters, achieved despite the absence of Subesh Naidu.
But it was his more famous brother who got the plaudits in the aftermatch speech, as Rovers player-coach Don Holloway acknowledged the class of the Melville team.
“We knew we were always going to be up against it in facing players of the calibre of Raj Naidu,” he said.
# Melville Knights chalked up an overdue win with a 2-0 trouncing of Claudelands Rovers Newbies in the Soccer Shop Plate. It was a great day for the Knights as they played their best football of the season.
But they missed several good opportunities to score against a very defensive Newbies, with score still deadlocked at 0-0 after regulation time.
Five minutes into extra time, centre back Jordan Trail played the perfect through ball to Rob Dunnigan – a striker you can bank on – and he slipped it past the keeper. Then with eight minutes to go Elijah Rowling fired in a shot that the Rovers keeper dropped, and following up, Octaves Sylver had a simple put-away for a decisive second goal.
# Melville Ds will concentrate on the league after losing 0-3 away to a superior Otorohanga B division team in the third round of the knockout cup.
“In the cup rounds we beat a C division team then a B division team , so we thought we did okay,” said coach Alan “Hairy Javelin” Holt.
For the Ds, Matt Wheatley played fantastically well in goal, while player of the day was defender Chris Cousins, a defender, who stopped a host of dangerous attacks.
# Melville Young Guns were beaten 5-1 by Ngaruawahia’s first team.