Weekend wrap: Women’s Prems win

On a weekend where most club matches were postponed, Melville premier women notched their first win in the late-season federation league with an important 1-0 home victory over Whakatane Town.

After a week of diluvian weather everyone was surprised Sunday’s game could proceed – though it was necessary to play on the slightly less-loved Gower No 4 pitch.

Coach Laichyn Parkinson said the intention was to apply pressure early and dominate possession after a slow start a week earlier away at Cambridge.

“Right from kickoff we had the edge across the board, with our defence enjoying the time on the ball to transition the play,” Parkinson said.

“Our midfield battled away with the bobble in the pitch which seemed to generate a 50-50 with every pass, but the hunger was evident in the squad as we won the bulk of the challenges. ”

The first half failed to generate many chances for both sides in open play but an overwhelming amount of set pieces for the homes side meant a goal was inevitable. 

A Jackie Pretswell corner was cleared from the near post, only to be played back out wide for a pinpoint back-post delivery for a determined Steph Murray to nut home a 35th minute lead.

Steph Murray: Great header for the winner.

This turned out to be the difference between the two sides, as Melville squandered numerous second half chances.

Konagh Garrett found herself free in the box but drilled her shot straight at the keeper, which was probably the best chance of the half as Whakatane structured well at the back. 

There were some lusty challenges, including this one from Melville skipper Nat Mora

Some strong work from Kendal Gaby-Sutherland & Ali Galletly on the right and left respectively meant the chances kept flowing. 

Kendal Gaby-Sutherland at work down the right flank.

Kendal Gaby-Sutherland at work down the right flank.

Melville’s young pairing of Dion Henley and Isla Allen at right and left back kept their markers quiet on attack with some sound defensive work, then displayed a willingness to push forward.  

TDO-sponsored player of the day went to Monique Corkill for a strong display up front in the first half where she constantly pressured the opposition defense and a impressive display in midfield in the second half displaying her versatility across the pitch. 

New Delhi Indian Restaurant Managers POD went to Henley for her display at right back.

Special mention to Laurie McMaster who stepped up from the Epics to keep a clean sheet in goal. McMaster’s experience at the back was clear with decision making and communication meant Whakatane were limited to a sole shot on goal, while numerous chances were snuffed out.  

Melville Epics lost 2-4 at home to Wanderers B on Gower 5.Jacqui McInally and Bailey Guilford scored for Melville, while Megan Vinniecombe was player of the day.

Super Sue McAllister in action at left back for Melville Epics

Meanwhile Melville Development had their away match against Cambridge postponed through the wet weather – but their coach at least managed to fly the flag at Melville Castle in Edinburgh, where he was piped through the gates in honour of his respected Melville United shirt.

MCVOORT: “Ye cannae believe hoow mooch they love Melville here, Jimmy.”

Lance McVoort, 38, has been granted leave of absence from his coaching post for a month as part of a fact-finding mission to research Melville links worldwide which can be exploited for future brand-building purposes.

McVoort can trace his own Scottish roots back to the Battle of Bannockburn, so naturally started his quest in Scotland. He was delighted to hear internet sales of Melville scarves and caps are already going through the roof.

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