Western United’s NPL 3 Senior and Under-21 Men’s teams took on Melbourne City this weekend in a bid to continue their respective perfect starts to the season, while Calder United joined the party for Round 1 of NPLW Victoria.
Western United NPL 3 Men’s Under 21’s
Western United 0-3 Melbourne City
It was a tough afternoon for Vaughan Coveny’s Under 21’s side as the match got away from the team in the final 20 minutes.
After a tight first half with no goals, Western United goalkeeper Ryan Mudaliar was shown a straight red card in the 70th minute and City took advantage of that in a big way, with three goals in a six-minute spell killing the game off.
They were the first three goals that the Under 21’s have conceded so far this season, and the defeat still leaves the Green and Black equal-third, level on points with City and Geelong Soccer Club.
Western United NPL 3 Men’s Senior’s
Western United 2-1 Melbourne City
Goal scorers: S.Ngor (71’), J.Najdovski (90+2’)
Prior to that, Western United’s senior side played a fiery, thrilling encounter against Melbourne City, with Anthony Frost’s men going right down to the wire in an exhilarating game.
In a similar way to the Under 21’s, the pendulum swung slightly in United’s favour soon after the restart when City were reduced to 10 men with the score still locked at 0-0.
Sabit Ngor finally found the breakthrough in the 71st minute, showing excellent poise in the box to nutmeg a defender, keep control of the ball under pressure and rifle a shot into the roof of the net.
City struck back soon after though, as Max Caputo converted a penalty after Charlie Emery had brought down Harry Politidis in the box.
United set about finding the winner in the final 10 minutes, and tails were up when City received another red card, with Caputo receiving his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Sebastian Lo Monaco made a big impact off the bench at half-time and it was he that finally created the winner, as he pulled the ball back for Jake Najdovski to score his third goal in as many games in the dying embers of the contest.
Calder United NPLW Senior’s
Box Hill United 0-0 Calder United
The NPLW season kicked off for Calder United on Friday night as Mark Torcaso’s side travelled to face Box Hill United at Wembley Park.
The pace and trickery of Aleksandra Sinclair and Ava Groba was causing the Box Hill defence problems early doors, but the final ball wasn’t forthcoming as Calder struggled to break through.
Adriana Taranto came closest as she thrashed a long-range volley onto the upright early in the second half, but Calder continued to be frustrated by the hosts’ defensive performance
In the end, Torcaso’s side would have to settle for just a point, with plenty more to come for the remainder of the season.
Calder United NPL Victoria Girls Under 19’s
Box Hill United 2-6 Calder United
Goal scorers: F.Iaria (47’, 74’, 80’), T.Stella (65’), A.Smith (75’), S.Cappola (89’)
Calder United’s Under 19’s side had no such trouble in front of goal two days later, though the side was still made to work very hard to secure a big victory in the end.
Calder came into half-time 1-0 down, and despite Fiorina Iaria equalising soon after the restart, the team fell behind again and had a deficit to recover.
And recover it was just what the side did. Calder poured in five unanswered goals in the final 25 minutes, with 16-year-old Iaria adding two more to complete a hat-trick and Tiarna Stella scoring the pick of the bunch with a long-range screamer into the top corner.
The second-half turnaround was much needed and puts Calder at the top of the league after the first round of matches – the perfect way to begin the new season.