Western United NPL Weekly Wrap – Race for promotion and premierships

Western United Academy

Western United’s NPL 3 sides travelled to Epping Stadium at the weekend to face Melbourne Victory, while Calder United played host to FV Emerging.

Western United NPL 3 Men’s Under 21’s

Melbourne Victory 3-2 Western United

Goal scorers: T.Alisandratos (14’), J.Ciarma (70’)

Vaughan Coveny’s Under 21’s side entered the contest with Melbourne Victory with the opportunity to become the first side to take points off the league leaders.

With 17 wins from 17 games, Victory have been dominant in the Under 21’s competition but United was more than up for the fight and took a 1-0 lead into half-time, courtesy of Thomas Alisandratos’ eighth goal of the season.

Jae Ciarma then struck in the 70th minute to give United hope of securing a superb result, but a late fightback from Victory proved to be the Green and Black’s undoing as Nathan Stamatelos scored a hat-trick to give the hosts a 3-2 win.

Western United NPL 3 Senior Men’s

Melbourne Victory 0-2 Western United

Goal scorers: Y.Panakos (53’), S.Ngor (77’)

The Senior side was out to avenge defeat to Melbourne Victory earlier in the campaign in a do-or-die clash in the race for promotion to NPL 2.

With Victory sitting three points clear of United at kick-off, Anthony Frost’s side knew nothing but a win would keep it in the mix for not only the promotion play-offs, but also an automatic spot with Preston Lions pulling away in second place.

After a tense first-half, a bit of magic from Yianni Panakos lit up the contest in the 53rd minute as he unleashed a long-distance rocket into the top right corner to give United the lead.

Melbourne Victory turned up the pressure in search of an equaliser but United weathered the storm until Sabit Ngor struck the clinching second goal with just over 10 minutes to play as he robbed Matthew Bozinovski of the ball and slid a perfect finish underneath the goalkeeper and into the net.

The win keeps United firmly in the promotion conversation ahead of the final four fixtures of the season, starting with a huge clash against Preston Lions on Friday night.

Calder United NPL Victoria Girls Under 19’s

Calder United 1-0 NTC U17

Goal scorer: F.Iaria (64′)

The Calder United Under 19’s continue to chase a premiership heading into the final weeks of the campaign and faced a stern test from the NTC Under 17’s.

Josip Loncaric’s side was out to bounce back from defeat against Box Hill United the week previous, and it did just that.

A tight contest saw the deadlock remain until just after the hour mark when top scorer Fiorina Iaria delivered yet again, burying her 17th goal of the season.

The Under 19’s remain top of the league with five games remaining and will meet fellow challengers South Melbourne and Alamein FC in an enthralling final two weeks of the season.

Calder United NPLW Senior’s

Calder United 0-1 FV Emerging

Fresh from securing an outstanding fifth-straight NIKE F.C. Cup Grand Final appearance, Calder United’s senior women were out to make it 11 wins in a row in NPLW against FV Emerging.

But after an exhausting semi-final against Bulleen Lions in midweek, it wasn’t to be for Mark Torcaso’s side as a 1-0 defeat handed the team its first loss since April.

Despite Alana Cerne thumping the post with a second-half free-kick, Calder was unable to breach FV Emerging’s defence, but the NPLW Premiership remains in the side’s hands with six games to play.