NPL Match Preview: Box Hill United vs Western United

Western United Academy

Western United will face Box Hill United away from home this weekend in NPL 3, with the Senior’s out to continue a perfect start to the season and the Under 21’s looking for a return to winning ways.

Match Details

Box Hill United vs Western United

Friday, April 8 (Senior’s) and Saturday, April 9 (Under 21’s)

Kick-off: 7:30pm AEST (Senior’s), 1:45pm AEST (Under 21’s)

Wembley Park, Box Hill

Last time out

Anthony Frost’s NPL 3 Senior Men’s side pulled off a sensational 2-1 win over Melbourne City in the last match to make it three wins in a row to start the season.

A tight and fiery affair saw over an hour football played without a goal until Sabit Ngor broke the deadline for Western United.

READ MORE: Western United NPL Weekly Wrap – Late drama and NPLW returns

Melbourne City equalised from the penalty spot soon after, but United would land the final blow after City had been reduced to nine men.

Former Melbourne City product Jake Najdovski was on hand to convert from inside the box, scoring his third goal in as many games to start the season and sparking wild celebrations at City Vista Recreation Reserve.

The Under 21’s didn’t quite have the same joy in the later kick-off on Sunday. Vaughan Coveny’s men also held onto a 0-0 score line beyond the 60th minute but the game soon unraveled.

Goalkeeper Ryan Mudaliar was sent off in the 70th minute and City poured in three goals over a six-minute spell to claim a 3-0 victory.

Last season’s meetings

Western United and Box Hill played each other twice over last season’s suspended NPL 3 season, and Wembley Park was actually the venue for United’s NPL 3 debut.

The senior side defeated Box Hill 2-1 in its first ever game after a thrilling late turnaround, while the Under 21’s drew 2-2.

It was a disappointing day the second time around with a 1-0 loss the Seniors’ only defeat of the season, while the Under 21’s also went down by a goal, losing 2-1 after originally going in front.

The Opponent

Box Hill have started the senior strongly in the senior competition, with a 5-1 win on opening day against Springvale White Eagles setting the tone for what they hope will be a strong showing this season.

That result was followed by a 0-0 draw against Doveton before a narrow 2-1 loss to Melbourne Victory in Round 3.

Star striker Stuart Edgar has opened his account already and will be keen to fight for the golden boot in NPL 3 once again, having gone toe-to-toe with Manny Aguek at Western United throughout much of last season.

Box Hill’s Under 21’s side has had the exact same results as their Senior’s with a 4-0 win over Springvale and a 1-1 draw against Doveton. The defeat against Melbourne Victory wasn’t quite so tight though, with Box Hill going down 6-0.

Calder United takes on FV Emerging

Calder United will resume its season after, incidentally, beginning the 2022 NPLW season away at Box Hill United last weekend.

Mark Torcaso’s senior side failed to score despite dominated most of the match and went home with just a point after a 0-0 draw in Round 1, while the Under 19’s completed a spectacular second-half comeback to win 6-2.

Round 2 will see all Calder United teams, from the juniors right up to the Senior Women, play at home at Keilor Park Recreation Reserve on Sunday.

The Senior’s will kick off at 3pm on Saturday April 9, with the Under 19’s just before them at 1pm.