Melbourne City will look to get back to their winning ways on Sunday when they travel to Nunawading City FC in round 25 of the PS4 NPL2 Season.
Last week saw City come from behind to lead three goals to two with less than 10 minutes remaining in their clash with the Goulburn Valley Suns – thanks to a brace by Dylan Pierias and a solo effort from Austin Wong.
However, goals in the 85th and 89th minute by the Suns condemned City – who played much of the second half down a man after Jaiden Madafferi was sent off in the 52nd minute – to a four goals to three defeat as time ran out.
Speaking on his side shipping two late goals after the game, City youth coach Joe Palatsides said:
“We talked a bit about how you worked so hard to get there [The three goals to two lead] and then just took our foot of the pedal.”
“If you don’t defend with your life you’re always going to conceded something.”
“We sort of thought at three-two we could sit back. But when you sit back you still need to press in the right areas, you still need to cover in the right areas and we didn’t do that. And we got punished for it.”
Despite the loss, results elsewhere in the NPL2 Eastern Conference meant that City retained third position on the table with four games on the season left to play.
Sitting on 34 points, City are trailed by the fourth placed Suns on 32 points and fifth placed Springvale White Eagles on 31 points.
The Suns will travel to Dandenong to face the Thunder in their round 25 game, with Springvale set to travel to Box Hill for their fixture.
City’s round 25 opponents in Nunawading City are also coming into this week’s game having lost in round 24 – with the team from Mahoney’s Reserve going down three goals to two last Saturday against Springvale.
Featuring former Hyundai A-League players James Brown, Jason Trifiro, Mitch Cooper and Patrick Gerhardt amongst their playing list, Nunawading currently sit in 8th position on the Eastern Conference table with 25 points – only four points clear of the Eastern Lions in the relegation zone.
With a trip to runaway NPL2 Western Conference leaders Northcote City ahead in round 26, Nunawading will be desperate to take any points they can from the game – and their one goal apiece draw with the then Eastern Conference leading Dandenong City in round 23 of the season shows that the side is quite capable of surprising higher positioned teams.
City however, will be boosted by the return of defender Leo Athanasiou - who is free to play after serving a suspension for his red card against Springvale in round 23.
The game between City and Nunawading will kick off at 3pm on Sunday the 30th of July at Nunawading’s home ground of Mahoney’s Reserve – with the two sides U20 sides meeting beforehand in a curtain raiser set for a 1pm kickoff.
NPL Victoria - Round 25
Nunawading City FC vs Melbourne City FC
Sunday 30 July, 2017
Mahoney’s Reserve, Forest Hill
Seniors: 3pm Under 20’s: 1pm
Entry at Gate Prices