WOMEN DRAW: All’s well that Pretswell
Jackie Pretswell struck a long range equaliser for Melville to snatch a 2-2 draw against Northern United in Waibop women’s football in The Late Show under lights at Gower Park on Friday.
It was a tonic for Melville who led 1-0 thanks to a goal from Ali Galletly with the last kick of the first half, but then trailed to two Northern goals in the second spell. Pretswell smacked a left footer from just outside the area which on the wet greasy surface on the No 2 pitch was only half parried by the keeper and rolled into the goal.
“I was so glad to see it go in,” said Pretswell.
It was also reward for assistant coach Devon Williams, better known as a star of the Melville Reserves, who was at the helm for the first time, with Blair Cowley stuck in Rotorua.
Melville club captain Phil Wheatley said the match was very encouraging on several fronts.
“We’re establishing a good vibe with Friday night football at Gower Park,” Wheatley said. “While the wet weather didn’t make it conduicive to attracting the 1000-strong attendance of the secondary schoolboy match a week earlier, the pitch held up well and it was satisfying to see such an encouraging performance from the Melville women under lights.
“It is also nice to see another young coach emerging in Melville colours. Devon has run the cutter for the first time and guided the team to their best result against Northern in three outings this season.
“Quintessentially coaching is all about taking a player where she can’t take herself. But at an even more fundamental level, the most important thing about coaching is having a sense of confidence about what you’re doing, and I think tonight Devon showed he has that.
“But we were expecting that. As Leonardo Da Vinci once observed, ‘poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master’.”