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Jun 24, 2022   |  12:45PM AET

NPL Preview: Ballarat v City

NPL Preview: Ballarat v City

City’s NPL3 squad will return to the action this Saturday afternoon, facing a trip down the highway to take on Ballarat City.

After a disappointing loss a couple of weeks ago, John Maisano’s men didn’t take long to bounce back.

Taking on Western United in what coming into the fixture was a 1v3 match-up, a comprehensive performance from City saw it pick up a comfortable 3-0 win.

City’s press suffocated the Western defence throughout the 90 minutes, forcing turnovers in crucial areas, while City were rock solid at the back and offered little to the green and black attack.

Arion Sulemani scored from the spot on the stroke of half-time, before turning home a Luke Oresti cross in the 67th minute to re-take the Golden Boot lead. Oresti then turned finisher ten minutes later, coolly placing his attempt across the keeper after being played in by Jordi Valadon.

With just eight rounds remaining this season, City holds a four-point buffer atop the NPL3 table which it will certainly be looking to extend come Saturday.

Ballarat sits in tenth place, but did pick up one of its three wins for the season last time out against Whittlesea Ranges.

The damage was done early as Ballarat led 3-0 after just half an hour of action. Whittlesea then pulled one back on the stroke of half time and then swiftly made it 3-2 just moments into the second half.

Ballarat got the quick response they were after when skipper Leighton Lauton netted his second of the match just two minutes later, before his team ran out eventual 4-3 winners after a late consolation goal to Whittlesea.

Saturday marks the second meeting between City and Ballarat this season, after we were made to fight hard for a 1-0 win at Parade College back in Round 4.

Who else but Arion Sulemani was on the scoresheet for City, netting in the 26th minute. Plenty of chances presented themselves over the remainder of the 90 minutes, but ultimately, it was that sole goal that separated teams.

There’s no doubt City will be hoping for a more comfortable win this time around, but in the end, all that matters will be the three points come Saturday afternoon.

Match Details

NPL3 Victoria Round 15: Ballarat City v Melbourne City FC

Saturday 25 June, 3:00pm kick-off

Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility (Pitch 1)