Western United returns to City Vista Recreation Reserve this weekend to face North Sunshine Eagles in Round 10 of NPL 3, with both Academy sides looking to keep pace at the top of their league tables.
Western United vs North Sunshine Eagles
Sunday, 22 May
Kick-off: 3pm (Under 21’s), 5:15pm (Senior’s)
City Vista Recreation Reserve, Plumpton
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on NPL.tv. Download the app or visit the website and make a free account to watch.
Last time out
Western United’s Senior and Under 21 sides enjoyed a fine day out at Morshead Park in Ballarat, collectively putting 13 goals past Ballarat City.
It started with a 9-0 win for the Under 21’s in a game which saw striker Greg Siamoa slam in seven goals all on his own. That doubled his entire season tally, taking it up to 14 and well clear of anyone else in the league so far.
The Senior’s followed and, while it took a while for the side to find its groove, dispatched of Ballarat City 4-1 on the back of two cracking goals, first from Jake Najdovski and then from Charbel Shamoon.
Najdovski ended with a brace that puts him on six goals for the season which sees him joint top of the golden boot race in the senior competition.
Results elsewhere meant the Senior’s reduced the deficit to the teams above them, remaining in fourth place but now just two points off Preston Lions and Melbourne Victory in second and third and a further two points back from first-placed Melbourne City.
Vaughan Coveny’s side continues to chase down Victory and City at the top of the Under 21’s competition, with those sides six and three points clear respectively.
Last year’s meetings
Quite simply, Western United never got to play North Sunshine Eagles in its inaugural NPL 3 campaign last year.
The sides were due to meet before the first lockdown that interrupted the season and the make up game was never put in place for subsequent restarts before the campaign was eventually suspended.
That means Anthony Frost will be breaking new ground with the Western United Academy in this first meeting between the two sides, and he will hope to win out in the battle of wits on the touchline.
North Sunshine Eagles have enjoyed a fantastic season so far, nearly matching their points total from 14 games last season in just nine matches in 2022.
Four wins and a draw – which came in their last match against Melbourne Victory – have North Sunshine in sixth place and only three points behind United, meaning a win could take the visitors above the Green and Black on the table.
The Under 21’s are also sitting in sixth place but have hit a rough patch of form in recent weeks with just one win and four losses in the last five games after starting the campaign with four victories in a row.
Two of those four defeats have been heavy ones against Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory, but Coveny will be ensuring no complacency from his players to get the result.
Calder United at home for a third straight week as NPLW cycle restarts
Every side in NPLW has now played each other once, so that means it’s Calder United’s turn to meet Box Hill United again in Round 8 of NPLW.
The sides drew 0-0 in Round 1 with Calder United left frustrated by an inability to capitalise on its dominance, so Mark Torcaso will be looking to make Box Hill pay when they come to Keilor Park Recreation Reserve.
Calder has responded well to its first loss of the season with three wins in a row thereafter and will be looking to make four on the bounce in its third successive home match.
Box Hill is currently in fifth place, while Calder has risen back up into second and is now just one point off first-placed Heidelberg United.
In the Under 19’s, Calder has maintained its unbeaten start to the season and leads the way from Alamein FC on goal difference.
Josip Loncaric’s side earned a 6-2 win over Box Hill in Round 1 but had to come from 2-1 down on the day, so the team will know another top performance will be needed to earn a similar result.
The Under 19’s match will kick off at 1pm on Saturday May 21 with the Senior’s starting at 3pm, and also being broadcast live on NPL.tv.