Melville United are just one game away from a Chatham Cup final after defeating Christchurch United 4-0 at Gower Park on Saturday.

It was the magic of Welshman Marc Evans, who with his first half hat-trick, established himself as Melville's most prolific goal scorer in the club's modern era.

His three goal haul saw him surpass Claudelands Rovers coach Mark Cossey, who had scored 84 goals between 1996 and 2001. Evans now sits alone at the top with 87.

The game was always in the control of Melville, even when Christchurch was in possession. Melville's high pressure game either forced Christchurch back or created an error in play for the away side, allowing Melville to spring on the attack.


The opening goal could have came sooner for Melville, were it not for the heroics of Edward Ashton who made two saves early on to deny Melville.

Christchurch's resistance did not last forever.

After the two superb saves Melville United coach Sam Wilkinson could be heard yelling to Mark Jones to play wider on the right hand side. The move paid off as minutes later Jones with space to work with on the flank swung in a cross that Evans tapped home to open the scoring.

The second goal followed soon after with Evans smashing home another cross from a wide position, however it was his third goal that was the pick of the bunch.

A free kick lined up just outside the box was all set for Evans to secure his hat-trick. The shot was up and over the wall and perfectly placed in the top right corner of the goal.

The second half was still an open affair, but only one goal came from Craig Pritchard. Pritchard, with his brother Mike linked up with the Melville United squad several weeks ago and have played a part in Melville's recent run of successful results.

The only blips on the performance came from Liam Hayes, who made a poorly timed challenge on Christchurch's goalkeeper, and Josh Davies for a scuffle late in the match.

Melville United will find out their opponents for the semifinal this week.