D1: Melville United strong start continues

Melville United’s new era under coach Sam Wilkinson looks bright after they ran out 4-0 winners over Franklin United at Bledisloe Park today.

Melville won their season opener 5-0 and were again much too good for a Franklin United side with home advantage and a winning start to the season of their own to boast about.

Goals by Patrick Hinchcliffe, Marc Evans, Liam Hayes and Eric Seekie made it a comfortable afternoon on the scoresheet for the Gower Park club.

Despite the positive result, Wilkinson described a performance he believes has plenty of room for improvement.

“I thought we were below par. We were untidy with the ball and weren’t as careful with possession as we have been and that gave Franklin United a foothold in the game.

“We were never comfortable and I always had a feeling there might be a goal coming. But when we scored the first one that settled us and we went from there,” he said.

Melville United were missing midfielder George Curry a player Wilkinson believes is crucial to how his team plays.

“George dictates the tempo of our game and contributes massively to how we play. But we had good performance from Aaron Scott who was head and shoulders the best player on the park. Aaron is always very comfortable with or without the ball.

“Max Tommy made a couple of good saves which is exactly why we signed him. At this level, Max is possibly the best goalkeeper in the league.

“We’re very happy with three points and a clean sheet is positive but with respect a better quality of finishing by Franklin might have punished us,” Wilkinson said.

Elsewhere, Mount Albert Ponsonby picked up another goalless draw this time away to Manukau City while Ellerslie AFC were too slick for Hibiscus Coast picking up a comfortable 4-1 away win.

Coast fell behind to an own goal just before halftime but Daniel Cyra equalised to ensure parity at the break. But the second half belonged to Ellerslie who scored three goals in eleven second half minutes via Art Twigg, Adam Barkley and Sangster Crawford to run out victorious.

The late kick-off saw Waitemata FC take on North Shore United with the Shore prevailing 3-2. Ashley Ngadela scored two including the winner just three minutes from time. Sebastien Vanneste was Shore’s other scorer. Waitemata FC, who twice came from behind to level, were left devastated despite goals by Shane Tanner and Daniel Gates.

Tauranga City United meet Oratia United on Sunday 2 April at Links Avenue with a 3.00pm kick-off.

Metro FC’s game with Western Springs has been rescheduled to Tuesday 4 April at Seddon Fields with a 7.30pm kick-off.


Extra Information

Lotto NRFL Men’s First Division

Saturday 1 April

Hibiscus Coast 1 (Daniel Cyra 42′)
Ellerslie AFC 4 (Adam Barkely 57′, Sangster Crawford 63′, Art Twigg 52′, Own Goal 39′)
Halftime: 1-1

Franklin United 0
Melville United 4 (Patrick Hinchcliffe 59′, Marc Evans 70′, Liam Hayes 85′, Eric Seekie 88′)
Halftime: 0-0

Manukau City 0
Mount Albert Ponsonby 0
Halftime: 0-0

Waitemata FC 2 (Shane Tanner 13′, Daniel Gates 44′)
North Shore United 3 (Ashley Ngadela 6′, 87′, Sebastien Vanneste 23′)
Halftime: 2-2

Tauranga City United v Oratia United
To be played Sunday 2 April 3pm

Metro FC v Western Springs AFC
To be played Tuesday 4 April 7.30pm

Image courtesy