NPL Preview: City v Werribee City FC

Melbourne City’s Youth will return to action this Saturday looking to erase a three-game losing run when they take on high-flying NPL2 Western Conference foes Werribee City at Galvin Park.

City will enter Saturday’s contest with The Bees after last week suffering a 2-1 loss at the hands of Moreland City at La Trobe University.

Having made a host of changes to his starting XI in what was his second game in charge – and first with a full week of preparation – Head Coach Petr Kratky watched his side take a first-half lead in that contest when Australian U17 representative Josh Varga bundled a cross in from the right over the line in the 33rd minute of play.

However, the second half would prove less fruitful for Kraty’s side, with the visitors equalising almost straight after the restart when Apai Ukuno scrambled a close-range effort over the line after a goalmouth scramble.

Just ten minutes later Moreland then took a match-winning lead when Osman Kose – who hit the frame of the goal on several other occasions throughout the game – fired past City goalkeeper Ahmad Taleb after being played through one-on-one by captain Corey Thomas.

That result means that City lies in the sixth position on the NPL2 Eastern Conference table heading into this weekend’s round 13 fixture; eight points behind second-placed Northcote City and 12 behind table-topping Eastern Lions.

With the coming reforms to NPL Victoria – sides third through sixth will be placed in the newly formed VPL 2 next year and those sides seventh through tenth going into VPL 3 – a reversal in form is vital to ensure that City remain playing in at least the second tier of Victorian football.

Saturday’s opponents in Werribee, at present, have no such worries; sitting in the second position on the NPL2 Western Conference table after 12 games – denied top place only on goal difference.

The Bees will, however, come into Saturday’s game hot off the heels of a rare defeat after last week going down 4-2 to regional NPL2 East side Goulburn Valley Suns in Shepparton.

It was well and truly the Alou Kuol show in that contest, with Suns' attacker netting in the 19th, 27th, 62nd and 65th minute to overpower goals from Werribee’s Sam McCall and Jacob Butler to propel his Suns’ side to victory.

City and Werribee last met in round 12 of the 2018 NPL season at La Trobe University. On that day, a brace to Yusuf Ahmed wasn’t enough for City to take all three points from the meeting; goals to Trevor Ssemakula, Dion Paola and Jay Kelly ensuring the visitors took all three points.

City and Werribee’s 2019 meeting will kick-off at 3:00 pm this Saturday at the Bee’s home ground of Galvin Park in Werribee; both club’s U20 sides will partake in the traditional curtain-raiser fixture at 12:15

Match Details:

NPL Victoria - NPL2 Round Thirteen
Saturday, 18 May 2019
Melbourne City FC v Werribee City FC
Venue: Galvin Park (Pitch One), Parklands Grove, Werribee, Victoria
Kick-off: U20s – 12:15pm| Seniors 3:00pm