NPL Preview: City v Springvale White Eagles

Melbourne City’s senior NPL side will play their delayed fixture against Springvale White Eagles on Tuesday night, the two sides meeting at John Cain Memorial Park.

City was forced to reschedule the fixture against the White Eagles from this most recent Saturday due to a significant number of players from the squad being called into the Young Socceroos and Joey’s squads.

Dylan Pierias, Moudi Najjar, Ramy Najjarine and Anthony Lesiotis were selected as part of Ante Milicic’s Young Socceroos squad for the SBS Cup, while Idrus Abdulahi, Jordan Bos, Luke Duzel, Thomas Lambiris, Dalibor Markovic, Ahmad Taleb and Joshua Varga were all called into Trevor Morgan’s Joey’s squad for a training camp.

City last took the field on 11 August, when two late goals resulted in a 3-3 draw and the spoils between themselves and the Goulburn Valley Suns being shared.

After goals to Alou Kuol opened the scoring for the Suns in the 20th minute, City was able to strike back with three unanswered goals; Najjar, Najjarine and Mark Karlic all finding the back of the net.

With just under 20 minutes remaining, however, Jordan Barrow was able to peg a goal back for the Suns with a long-range effort. William Marshall then tied things up between the two sides following a goalmouth scramble in the 85th minute.

The White Eagles suffered a shock defeat in their previous fixture on 12 August, going down 3-0 to the already relegated Nunawading City at Nunawading’s home of Mahoney’s Reserve.

Massimo Murdocca opened the scoring for Nunawading in the 21st minute of that contest, Lee Gellis adding a second six minutes later. Substitute Chris Antoniadis went on to add a sealer for his side in the 91st minute; handing the White Eagles back-to-back heavy following their 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Altona Magic the week prior.

City can leapfrog the fifth-placed Suns, fourth-placed White Eagles and third-placed Eastern Lions with a win on Tuesday evening; City currently on 31 points compared to the Suns 32, the White Eagles 33 and the Lions 33. With a goal difference of +8, a draw with the White Eagles would still be sufficient for City to leapfrog the Suns into fifth.

City’s U20 side will not be partaking in their usual curtain-raiser ahead of the seniors clash on Tuesday night, instead meeting the U20s of the White Eagles at La Trobe University on Sunday afternoon at 2.30 pm.

City’s U20s collected a win in their last fixture, defeating the Suns 3-2 prior to the senior’s 3-3 draw.

Peter Kratky’s side showed considerable grit in that contest to secure the three points, being reduced to nine men in the second half and faced with a number of bizarre refereeing decisions.

Markovic netted once for City in that contest, with Giovani Stellitano secured himself a brace in the win.

The White Eagles U20s and none of the problems that their senior side had in their clash with Nunawading, hammering their opponents in the day’s curtain raiser to the tune of 6-1.

Coming off a comfortable, 2-0 defeat of Port Melbourne in their last hitout, City’s U15 squad will return home to La Trobe University on Sunday morning at 10.30 am to take on Kingston City.

City sits in the sixth position on the NPL U15 East table with 45 points heading into the game, with opponents Kingston two positions below them with 38 points.

City’s U18s, coming off a very comprehensive 5-0 in their fixture against Port Melbourne will also head to La Trobe to take on Kingston; their game kicking off at 12.30 pm.

City sits in the second position – only behind league leaders Bulleen on goal difference – heading into the fixture, with Kingston further down the table in the tenth position.

Match Details

National Premier Leagues Victoria – NPL2 - Round 22
Melbourne City FC v Springvale White Eagles FC
Tuesday 21 August 2018
Venue: John Cain Memorial Park – Pitch One, Thornbury, Melbourne, Victoria
Kick-off: Seniors – 7.30pm

Photo: Dion Fountas Photography