Published November 6, 2020

PARKER THORNTON beats a Wakefield defender to the ball before getting taken down in the box for a Melrose penalty kick. The Red Raiders beat the Warriors 1-0 on Monday. (Dan Pawlowski Photo)

WAKEFIELD — A goal scored in the opening seconds at Landrigan Field was all the road Red Raiders needed to beat rival Wakefield in boys’ soccer action on a frigid Monday night. 

Melrose exploded out of the gate, scoring a beautiful goal about 40 seconds into the game. John Lecomte finished a perfect cross from Jacobus Overgaag who played it from the right wing. 

It turned out to be a first-minute, game-winner. 

“It was a total team effort,” said Melrose head coach Dean Serino. 

Goalkeeper Cam McDonough picked up his fourth shutout of the season as Melrose improved to 2-1-2. 

It was Wakefield’s first game since Oct. 12. The two team’s first matchup scheduled for Oct. 24 was cancelled due to Wakefield’s Covid-19 concerns. 

Melrose kept the pressure up after their first goal, with Overgaag and Parker Thornton especially causing problems for Wakefield’s back line. Melrose settled into the game and had the better possession during the last five minutes of the opening quarter. 

Wakefield responded with a couple of chances early in the second quarter but as they were all game, the Melrose defense was up to the task. Captain Jack O’Hara and Matthew Whelan were especially strong, stopping any Warrior momentum.

Melrose continued to get the better chances toward the end of the first half, including an indirect free kick from just outside the 18 after a sliding tackle in the box. The shot went wide. 

Wakefield started to find their passing rhythm in the 3rd but strong defensive play in the midfield especially from captain Tarekegn O’Neill kept Melrose in control. 

Thornton was brought down in the box late in the quarter but O’Neill’s ensuing penalty kick went wide. 

Melrose iced it in the fourth, shutting down a couple more late pushes from the home team. McDonough made a great stop on Wakefield’s leading goal scorer Nemo Rizk on a clean look from the left side. 

In the end, a total team effort was certainly the best way to describe it. 

Melrose will move on to play Burlington in their next two games.