NPL Report: Western 1-3 City

Melbourne City secured an impressive result against Western United in the NPL2 on Saturday afternoon, taking the points in a 3-1 win away from home.

Giorgio Serdenes continued his good run of form, finding the opener just 11 minutes into the contest before Harry Shillington and Marcus Humbert were on the scoresheet in the second half either side of Western’s lone goal.

Team News

Head Coach Crisdion Krstevski had a strong squad at his disposal for the clash against the second-placed Western United outfit.

Starting XI: 1. James NIEUWENHUIZEN (GK), 2. Dom FOLINO, 4. Joshua DAMEVSKI, 5. Jordan DELLIDIS (C), 44. Tobenna OBANI, 17. Sebastian ESPOSITO, 66. Xavier STELLA, 16. Emile PEIOS, 23. Max CAPUTO, 48. Medin MEMETI, 99. Giorgio SERDENES.

Substitutes: 90. William SPARROW (GK), 8. Emin DURAKOVIC, 21. Ben MAZZEO, 24. Alec BECVINOVSKI, 43. Marcus HUMBERT, 45. Harry SHILLINGTON.

What happened?

Early corners were won at both ends of the pitch, but all in all, it was tough to split the teams in the opening exchanges.

This was until the 17th when a hard-pressing Emile Peios quickly won the ball back after City initially turned it over just outside the box.

The young midfielder turned on the jets down the left and put in a well-placed cross to find the head of an unmarked Serdenes, who made no mistake from close-range.

While now holding the lead, things didn’t get easier for City as the hosts quickly turned up the heat in search of a quick equaliser.

James Nieuwenhuizen made two strong saves in as many minutes in the moments following the opener, getting down quickly to ensure City remained ahead on the scoreboard.

Western would continue to see the better of the action for the remainder of the first half, but the likes of Sebastian Esposito, Josh Damevski and Jordan Dellidis ensured clear-cut chances were hard to come by.

It was an open beginning to the second half, with both teams looking to attack and early chances created at either end.

The hosts had a golden chance to draw level in the 49th minute, but Nieuwenhuizen made himself big and stood tall to deny the close-range effort.

Similar to the first half, Western enjoyed a period of dominance firing off a number of shots at goal – but City’s defence and hard-working midfielders ensured there were no easy sights at the target.

While City may not have been able to create as much down the other end of the pitch in the second half, they were clinical when the moment came.

A mistake from the Western goalkeeper with 15 minutes to play saw Serdenes get a great chance at his second, but could only strike the crossbar with his off-balance shot from a tight angle after rounding the ‘keeper.

Harry Shillington was in the right spot at the right time though, and was rewarded for his strong run, heading the follow-up into the empty net to make it 2-0.

Western would finally see the back of the net bulge at the other end of the pitch in the minutes that followed though, Thomas Alisandratos scoring from close-range in the 79th to ensure we’d be in for a tight finish.

City’s sealer would come for real less than 10 minutes later, once again via a follow-up header.

Emin Durakovic had the initial strike from the left-hand side of the box which was parried away, but only to the waiting head of Marcus Humbert who cooly made it 3-1.

What’s next?

City will be looking to make it back-to-back wins this Saturday afternoon when they face Manningham United away from home.