Western United’s NPL 3 Senior and Under 21 Men’s teams travelled east to face Doveton SC in Round 6 over the weekend, while Calder United had a tricky test at home against Heidelberg United.
Western United NPL 3 Men’s Under 21’s
Doveton SC 2-4 Western United
Goal scorers: N.Dib (p.13’), B.Souvlis (24’), T.Pisani (31’), G.Siamoa (85’)
Vaughan Coveny’s Under 21’s side was coming off an insane 13-2 win over Springvale White Eagles in Round 5 and looking to continue its strong start to the season against a Doveton side sitting bottom of the league.
Nathan Dib got United off to a brilliant start when he converted a penalty 13 minutes in before both sides traded goals before the break, with Billy Souvlis and Thomas Pisani ensuring United led 3-2 after a chaotic first 45 minutes.
The home side remained in the contest and battled to find an equaliser, but United showed its defensive resolve before taking the chance to seal the game, with Greg Siamoa adding the final goal of the match in the 85th minute.
That win keeps United level on points with Melbourne City in second place on the table, with both sides three points back from Melbourne Victory at the top.
Western United NPL 3 Senior Men’s
Doveton SC 3-4 Western United
Goal scorers: C.Shamoon (28’), A.El Hayek (72’), N.Holmes (88’), J.Najdovski (90+3)
Western United’s NPL 3 Senior Men’s outfit needed a result against Doveton after defeat to Box Hill United and a draw with Springvale White Eagles in its last two games.
But Doveton would be a tough test having previously earned draws against Melbourne City and Preston Lions, and the hosts took an early lead when Samuel Catherine struck in the 15th minute.
Charbel Shamoon levelled for United just before the half hour, but Catherine found the net two more times either side of the break to complete a hat-trick and have his side 3-1 up.
It was looking like it might be another frustrating afternoon for Anthony Frost’s men, but the Green and Black was having none of it.
Adam El Hayek pulled one back in the 72nd minute to instill some belief in the side before Noah Holmes dragged United level in the 88th minute.
When United needed a hero, it could only turn to Jake Najdovski who sprung off the bench to score his fourth goal and second 90th minute winner of the season, hitting the net deep into added time and sparking wild post-match celebrations.
With Preston and Melbourne Victory drawing 0-0 in their match, the win was crucial for United to move clear of those two sides and stay level at the top of the league with Melbourne City.
Calder United NPL Victoria Girls Under 19’s
Calder United 4-1 Heidelberg United
Goal scorers: O.De La Plaza-Sanchez (3’), A.Smith (9’, 87’), E.Di Tella (67’)
Goals were the theme of the day across all teams over the weekend, with the Calder United Under 19’s also bolstering their goal difference with a big win over Heidelberg United.
Olivia De La Plaza-Sanchez and Alyssa Smith set Calder on its way with two goals in the opening 10 minutes giving the girls the best possible start.
The next goal out of half-time was crucial and it went Calder’s way via Erika Di Tella just past the hour mark, but Heidelberg still had a foot in the game with a goal inside the final 20 minutes.
Calder maintained control of the contest, though, and the result was all but secured when Smith added her second of the game and third of the season in the final moments of the match, keeping the side within touching distance of Alamein at the top of the league.
Calder United NPLW Senior’s
Calder United 1-2 Heidelberg United
Goal scorer: A.Taranto (86’)
Mark Torcaso’s senior women were unfortunate not to beat first-placed Bulleen Lions last week and were looking to get back to winning ways against Heidelberg.
Still without a couple of key players, Calder were given a fight in the first half as the visitors found the net twice before half-time to seize control of the match.
Adriana Taranto pulled a goal back in the 86th minute to give Calder a glimmer of hope in the final moments, but in the end the side could not avoid its first defeat of the season.
The match capped off a busy run for many of the players, with a majority of the squad having travelled to Tasmania to represent Western United at UTAS Stadium on Tuesday in between NPLW and NIKE FC Cup matches.
Calder sits fourth on the table with plenty of football still to be played and remains only five points adrift of Bulleen at the top.