NPL Preview: City v Langwarrin SC


Melbourne City will be looking to make a quick turnaround from last week’s defeat when they hit the road on Saturday, traveling South-East to take on newly promoted Langwarrin SC.

City last week had their four-game undefeated stretch snapped at four, going down 3-2 at the hands of NPL2 Western Conference side Werribee City at La Trobe University.

Going into the halftime break locked at a goal apiece after Trevor Ssemakula netted for the Bees in the 27th minute and Yusuf Ahmed responded for City in the 40th, Werribee added to strikes through Dion Paola and Jay Kelly to take a two-goal buffer into the game’s final ten minutes.

A late City rally, in which Ahmed would net again and Moudi Najjar would have a shot deflected just wide, gave Joe Palatsides’ group some optimism – but they were ultimately denied a share of the spoils by some gritty Werribee defending.

Despite the loss, City retained third position on the NPL2 Eastern Conference Table; their seven wins, one draw and four losses enough for 22 points – four adrift of league-leading Moreland and Dandenong City and three clear of fourth-placed Goulburn Valley Suns.

Langwarrin suffered their fifth loss of the season in their week 13 contest, going down 3-1 at home to fellow newly promoted side Altona Magic.

Jon Mcshane and Ben Liftin grabbed two first-half goals for the Magic in that contest; before Langwarrin’s Liam Baxter netted an 82nd-minute penalty to give the hosts some hope.

Melvin Becket would then immediately answer for the Magic, however, dashing Langwarrin’s thoughts of a late comeback.

Last week’s loss means that Langwarrin has 17 points on the season; with five wins, two draws and five losses. The South-Eastern side sits in 6th place on the Eastern Conference table, one point behind fifth-placed Springvale White Eagles and one point clear of the seventh and eighth-placed Eastern Lions and Murray United.

Peter Kratky’s U20 side will be looking to make it five wins on the trot when they run out for their curtain-raiser against the U20s of Langwarrin.

City U20s recorded a 4-2 win over the U20s of Werribee in their contest last week to make it four wins on the bounce; Sam Morrison, George Gerondaras netting singles goals and Dennis Menelaou adding a brace off the bench.

That win was enough to vault City into third place on the U20 NPL2 Eastern Conference table, two points clear of the fourth-placed Goulburn Valley Suns and six points adrift of the second-placed Eastern Lions.

The U20s of Langwarrin sit in 9th place in the 10-team U20 NPL2 Eastern Conference table heading into the weekend, suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Altona Magic U20s last week as part of a five-game winless run.

Melbourne City’s U15 and U18 sides will also be in action this Saturday – instead of the usual Sunday slot – when they make the trip to Shepparton to take on the Goulburn Valley Suns.

Both the U15s and U18s won last week, the U18s triumph enough to see them surge to the top of the table in the U18 NPL Eastern Conference.

The U18s kick-off first against the Suns, commencing at 11.00am, whilst the U15s will begin their match at 1.00pm

Match Details

National Premier Leagues Victoria – NPL2 – Round 13
Langwarrin SC v Melbourne City FC
Saturday, 19 May 2018
Venue: Lawton Park Reserve, Langwarrin South
Kick-off: U20s – 1.00pm, Seniors – 3.00pm

Photo: Dion Fountas Photograph