Western United’s Academy sides will be out to continue strong runs of form in NPL 3 when they take on Geelong Soccer Club on Saturday ahead of the A-League Men Grand Final.
Geelong SC vs Western United
Saturday, 28 May
Kick-off: 1pm AEST (Under 21’s), 3pm AEST (Senior’s)
Stead Park, Geelong
Last time out
Anthony Frost’s Senior side made it back to back wins last weekend, and consecutive victories of the same scoreline with a 4-1 triumph over North Sunshine Eagles.
Christian Theoharous was on the scoresheet in his return to the NPL 3, and Dalibor Markovic chipped in with two goals in the second half after Noah Holmes had scored the pick of the bunch just after half-time.
That followed a tight tussle in the Under 21’s, with United having to come from behind to earn a third successive victory.
Thomas Pisani kept Vaughan Coveny’s side in the game with a penalty just before half-time before United finally hit the lead in the 68th minute and added to it in the 78th through Gus Greer and Greg Siamoa respectively.
The two wins allowed both sides to draw closer to rivals on the table. The Senior’s were able to take advantage of Preston Lions drawing to go equal third, while the Under 21’s are now level on points with Melbourne City in second place.
Last season’s meetings
Western United and Geelong SC met each other twice last season, with the Green and Black going unbeaten through the four games across both age groups.
Both the Senior’s and the Under 21’s drew the opening meetings 1-1 before a pair of wins the second time around in July.
In one of the last games before the season was suspended, the Senior’s claimed a 2-1 win in a game that put Rhys Bozinovski on the map. The midfielder netted a stunning second-half brace to complete a come from behind win, the second a bullet from long-range deep into stoppage time to secure the win.
There were similar late heroics in the Under 21’s match as goals in the 77th and 82nd minutes secured a 3-1 win for United on that occasion.
Geelong have enjoyed a strong start to the season in both competitions, with the Senior’s sitting in fourth and the Under 21’s in sixth on their respective league tables.
The Senior’s were enjoying a three-match winning run before a defeat against Melbourne Victory last time out. Geelong have evenly split their first 10 matches with five wins and five losses.
The Under 21’s have an almost identical record, though managed to turn one loss into a draw compared to the Senior side.
After winning four of the first five matches, Geelong have won just one of the following five but will look to bounce back into some form at home against Western United this weekend.
Calder United back on the road to face FV Emerging
After three straight home games, Calder United will head to Knox Regional Football Centre on Sunday to do battle with FV Emerging.
Mark Torcaso’s senior women have been on a roll recently, winning four straight league games without conceding a goal and adding to that a 5-0 demolition of Boroondara Eagles, advancing to the NIKE FC Cup semi-finals.
FV Emerging have grown into the season, picking up an impressive draw against Bulleen Lions recently and pushing Alamein FC last week, and are sure to provide a test to Calder United.
The Under 19’s remain unbeaten through the first eight matches of the season and lead the league on goal difference, but will face a tough test with the NTC U17 side sitting fourth on the table.