Melville United are one win away from confirming their place in this year’s National League after a 4-1 win against Eastern Suburbs in midweek.
Playing under the lights at Auckland’s Ngahue Reserve, Melville scored twice in each half to ensure that their National League qualification remains solely within their control.
A win at home to bottom-placed North Shore United on Saturday will guarantee a top-four Northern League placing for Melville and end any remaining ambitions of arch-rivals Hamilton Wanderers.
Any early Melville nerves were eased in the 21st minute when leading goalscorer Oliver Colloty put the visitors in front.
Harry Christensen-Rose doubled the Waikato side’s lead three minutes later.
Suburbs came back with a goal from Ryan Verney in the 38th minute, sending the teams into the break with Melville ahead 2-1.
In the second spell, Luke Searle gave Melville breathing room, stretching the lead to 3-1 with a goal after 67 minutes.
Then, with five minutes to go, Ryen Lawrence, made sure of the result with Melville’s fourth goal.
To blow their National League hopes, Melville would now need to lose their remaining games — against Shore and then to Hamilton Wanderers in the final game of the Northern League season.
Main photo: Melville head coach Sam Wilkinson … National League qualification only a game away. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Game played Wednesday August 24, 2022
Eastern Suburbs 1 (Ryan Verney 38′)
Melville United 4 (Oliver Colloty 21′, Harry Christensen-Rose 24′, Luke Searle 67′, Ryen Lawrence 85′)