Western United sought a return to the winner’s list against FC Bulleen Lions in NPL 2 Victoria, while the junior teams met various opponents at home and Calder United faced South Melbourne in NPLW.
Western United NPL 2 Men’s Senior’s
Western United 3-1 FC Bulleen Lions
Goal scorers: J.Najdovski (18’), L.Vickery (21’), O.Lavale (83’)
After two straight defeats, Diogo Ferreira was looking for a big performance from his side to get back to winning ways and keep the pressure up at the top of the table.
United’s head coach got exactly that as his side dominated proceedings, despite trailing to a Bulleen opener against the run of play in the 15th minute.
Within six minutes of going behind, the Green and Black flipped the match on its head with Jake Najdovski netting his first goal of the season and Luke Vickery firing the side in front in his first start at Under 23’s level.
There was plenty of feeling in the game and a scuffle late on in the first half saw both teams reduced to 10 men, while Bulleen received another red card in the final 10 minutes for a second yellow card.
Oliver Lavale ensured the result was wrapped up with a lovely goal in the 83rd minute, cutting in from the left and bending a right-footed strike into the far corner.
That win and results around the league ensured United returned to joint-top spot on the table, with the incredibly competitive division seeing first through to 12th in the league separated by just eight points with the league now at its halfway point.
Western United NPL 2 Men’s Under 21’s
Western United 1-2 FC Bulleen Lions
Goal scorer: A.Hird (23’)
Western United’s Under 21’s were also out to make up for dropped points after a draw last week, but their fixture went in quite the opposite fashion to the Under 23’s match.
This time it was Western United that took the lead with Alex Hird scoring his second goal of the season halfway through the opening period.
Bulleen fought back though and struck twice either side of half-time to take a 2-1 lead with much of the second half still to play.
United pushed for an equaliser and a way back into the match, but Vaughan Coveny’s side was consigned to a first defeat of the season, allowing Melbourne City to move into top spot on the table.
Western United Junior Academy teams
Western United’s Junior Academy teams played at home for the second week in a row, hosting four different clubs at the new Alcock Road Reserve facility in Truganina.
Just as he did last week, Jordan Vonja opened the scoring in the first half for the Under 14’s but opponents Box Hill United found an equaliser after half-time, ensuring a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
Vonja’s day didn’t end there, however, as he also featured for the Under 15’s and scored a late winner as Kogulan Sabaratnam’s side defeated Brunswick Juventus 2-1.
The Under 16’s picked up their first win of the JBNPL 1 season with a commanding 3-1 victory over Whittlesea Ranges while Max Clarke’s Under 18’s made it three wins from three to start the campaign, overcoming Bendigo City 2-1.
Western United Junior Academy scores
Western United 1-1 Box Hill United
Goal scorer: J.Vonja (18’)
Western United 2-1 Brunswick Juventus
Goal scorers: J.Sanghera (p.5’), J.Vonja (69’)
Western United 3-1 Whittlesea Ranges
Goal scorer: S.Maden Limbu (25’), A.Vejzovic (36’), E.Robinson (70’)
Western United 2-1 Bendigo City
Goal scorers: L.Grundy (43’), M.Pollara (80’)
Calder United NPLW Senior’s
South Melbourne 1-1 Calder United
Goal scorer: K.Hieda (45+2)
Calder United approached a tough away battle with South Melbourne with reinforcements in the side as Western United Liberty A-League Women players Natasha Dakic and Raquel Deralas returned, while new signing Annabelle Haffenden also made her debut at the back.
South Melbourne were able to take control of the early proceedings, though, and took the lead inside 10 minutes when Janna Lawson found the net after a turnover inside Calder’s penalty area.
The visitors slowly built into the game and began to get on top with more consistent spells of possession and forward territory.
Deralas and Fiorina Iaria were behind much of Calder’s attacking impetus and linked up to win a corner in first-half stoppage time.
Bella Sewards’ looping delivery was only half cleared and after a mis-kicked first attempt, Keiwa Hieda got the ball back from Alexis Mitchell’s lay-off and curled a beautiful strike into the back of the net.
The second half was as tightly contested as the first and produced no further goals, securing a positive point for Calder and leaving them still with the top four places firmly in sight.
Calder United Under 19’s
South Melbourne 2-0 Calder United
Calder United’s Under 19’s fell to a first defeat of the season last week and hoped to avoid a repeat against South Melbourne on Saturday.
An engrossing opening hour saw neither side find the breakthrough until South Melbourne struck in the 60th minute to gain the edge.
Calder kept searching for a goal that ultimately wouldn’t come as South Melbourne wrapped up the three points with a second goal seven minutes from time.
Calder United junior girls
Calder United’s Under 13’s enjoyed a week off while the Under 15’s and Under 17’s faced difficult tests against Football Victoria NTC sides.
Unfortunately, they were tests that Calder couldn’t overcome with the matches ending in 4-0 and 2-1 defeats respectively.
Calder United junior’s scores
Under 13’s: BYE
Under 15’s: Calder United 0-4 NTC U14
Under 17’s: Calder United 1-2 NTC U15
Goal scorer: C.Stefanovski