A weekend that promised so much for Tauranga City United turned into abject disappointment after they lost both their games to slide down the Northern Premier League table.

On Saturday in Auckland, Tauranga City led Three Kings United 2-1 with goals to Nathan Farey and Andrew Cooper going into the final quarter. Sadly, some defensive mishaps proved costly as the home side scored two late goals to snatch the points.

But surely the three winning points were Tauranga City's for the taking against hapless Melville United at Links Avenue yesterday?

Melville arrived at the Mount dead last without a win, thumped 5-0 at home on Saturday by struggling Eastern Suburbs and with an atrocious goal difference of -12 after conceding 14 goals and scoring just two.


But there are no guarantees in sport.

Melville upset the form book and the home faithful by winning 1-0 with a 54th minute goal scored by Jake Mechell after Tauranga City's back four were split open by a precise pass.

Tauranga City looked way off their game in the first half and struggled to hold the ball for more than one or two passes in the blustery conditions. Melville knew all about talisman winger Jerahl Hughes, marking him closely to shut down much of Tauranga City's attacking might.

The halftime score of 0-0 was about right as both teams cancelled each other out until Mechell slipped the ball past Tom Pamment.

The goal fired up the Blues and they finally got their distinctive passing game going.

That was the cue for Melville goalkeeper Stu Campbell to stand up and single-handedly win the match for his team.

In the 63rd minute he saved a penalty by Hughes awarded after the tricky winger was tripped in the box.

Then 10 minutes later he made a brilliant reflex stop to keep out what looked a certain goal from a well-struck free-kick by Andrew Cooper.

Campbell was never going to win any popularity contests at Links Avenue.

He trained with Tauranga City pre-season and looked set to sign for the club before Melville swooped and took the big Englishman over the Kaimai Range.

Tauranga City head coach Duncan Lowry admitted the weekend went terribly.

"We could have come back from Auckland top of the table if we had got the three points but sadly we came back with nothing," Lowry said.

"You can't really put your finger on what went wrong [yesterday]. We tried to change it up for the last half an hour. We went from Colm Kenny as lone striker and pushed Jerahl and Coops [Andrew Cooper] up front.

"In this league everyone is capable of beating everybody else. You go from almost being top of the table to being in the rest of the pack.

"There are no bad teams in this league and that was proved against Melville."