Western United faced a tricky away trip to face Eastern Lions in NPL 2 Victoria while the Junior Academy teams locked horns with Melbourne City and Calder United took on FC Bulleen Lions.
Western United NPL 2 Men’s Senior’s
Western United 2-0 Eastern Lions
Goal scorers: Z.Kocankovski (7’), O.Lavale (90+1)
Diogo Ferreira’s side got back to winning ways against FC Bulleen Lions last weekend and faced another stern test against feline-themed opposition in Eastern Lions.
Entering the match level on points at the top of the table and with Eastern having won all of their matches at home so far this season, an early advantage may well have proved crucial.
And so it did for United who took the lead in the 7th minute after Zac Kocankovski pounced on a loose ball in the box following a corner, the captain firing in his first goal of the season.
The Green and Black was able to control the majority of the game thereafter and keep Eastern at bay until the final moments of the match.
The hosts threw everything forward in search of a late equaliser but United defended stoutly before breaking on the counter-attack as Oliver Lavale scored his second goal in as many matches with a delicate chip over the goalkeeper to all but secure a big three points.
That win and Kingston City’s defeat to Langwarrin Soccer Club ensured United opened up a three-point gap to third place, remaining joint league leaders with Preston Lions.
Western United NPL 2 Men’s Under 21’s
Western United 1-0 Eastern Lions
Goal scorer: T.Alisandratos (20’)
Having gone two matches without a win, Western United’s Under 21’s entered their clash with Eastern Lions needing a win to regain some confidence moving into the second half of the season.
It was a cagey affair in difficult conditions on Eastern’s home pitch, but Thomas Alisandratos managed to find the breakthrough midway through the first half.
That was Alisandratos’ first goal in four matches, taking his tally to a brilliant 13 strikes in 14 matches so far this season.
Much like in the Under 23’s match, that breakthrough was enough for United to control the remainder of the contest and rely on its defensive shape to ensure a clean sheet.
Vaughan Coveny’s men held onto the lead and an important victory as they remain within touching distance of Melbourne City at the top of the league.
Western United Junior Academy teams
Western United’s difficult start to the JBNPL 1 seasons continued with all four teams taking on Melbourne City in a second A-Leagues derby within the opening four rounds.
The Under 14’s looked to have got United off to a brilliant start, racing out to a 4-0 lead before City rallied with three goals in a six-minute spell in the second half.
United ultimately held its nerve to secure a thrilling 4-3 win before the Under 15’s drew 2-2 in another high-octane fixture at Casey Fields.
The Under 16’s played out a similarly gripping affair, winning 3-2 having held a 3-0 lead until early in the second half. Unfortunately, the Under 18’s couldn’t complete an unbeaten day against City, going down 3-0.
Those results ensured a rise up the table for the three youngest teams, while the Under 18’s now trail City by a single point at the top of the table.
Western United Junior Academy scores
Melbourne City 3-4 Western United
Goal scorers: W.Ashburner (12’, 33’), E.Abraha (19’), J.Vonja (27’)
Melbourne City 2-2 Western United
Goal scorers: M.Di Lorenzo (25’), N.Alumbulwa (34’)
Melbourne City 2-3 Western United
Goal scorer: J.Lettieri (34’), S.Maden Limbu (48’), E.Robinson (50’)
Melbourne City 3-0 Western United
Calder United NPLW Senior’s
FC Bulleen Lions 1-1 Calder United
Goal scorer: A.Groba (16’)
Calder United continued its steady improvement in NPLW Victoria but couldn’t avoid a third straight 1-1 draw in an entertaining game against FC Bulleen Lions.
The visitors made a strong start to the game and took the lead just past the opening quarter hour after a swift attacking move.
Calder’s high press forced a turnover in the attacking third and after a series of sharp passes, the ball fell to Ava Groba at the top of the box to fire into the net, marking her first start of the season after returning from injury.
Helen Winterburn and Nathan Maiorana continued to see positive, energetic play from their team but Bulleen eventually began to find their feet in the contest around the hour mark.
With a team stocked up with returning Liberty A-League Women talent, Bulleen needed every bit of it to claw back and secure a draw as Alana Jancevski equalised in the 70th minute.
Raquel Deralas had a big chance to put Calder back in front in the closing stages but it wasn’t to be, with Calder settling for a fourth draw of the season.
Calder United Under 19’s
FC Bulleen Lions 2-0 Calder United
Calder United’s Under 19’s fell to a third defeat in a row, going down 2-0 against FC Bulleen Lions with both goals coming before half-time.
Andy Burnett’s side competed all the way against Bulleen but couldn’t avoid the loss after another frustrating afternoon.
Calder remains in third place on the league table, level on points with Heidelberg United in second with NTC U17 now moving into a nine-point lead at the top.
Calder United junior girls
Southern United were the opponents for Calder United’s junior teams with a strong showing across the board in the three matches.
The Under 13’s began with a brilliant 4-0 win with Achol Taban netting all four goals to take her tally to 11 for the season.
The Under 15’s followed that up with a 6-0 triumph on the back of a hat-trick from Isabella Joveska, while the Under 17’s fell to a narrow 2-0 defeat after a superb effort against a strong Southern outfit.
Calder United junior’s scores
Under 13’s: Southern United 0-4 Calder United
Goal scorers: A.Taban (x4)
Under 15’s: Southern United 0-6 Calder United
Goal scorers: I.Joveska (x3), A.Birdahic, M.Crawford, A.Petersen
Under 17’s: Southern United 2-0 Calder United