NPL1 & Victoria Wrap
The first state league team is promoted to NPL1 as Ballarat battle to stay up, while City & Victory have mixed results.
After Goulburn Valley Suns were officially relegated to the NPL1 a fortnight ago, two teams have changed the dynamic for the 2015 season. Avondale Height’s SC, better known in the Murray region as the team that knocked out Twin City Wanderers from the Dockerty Cup after a magnificent run, gained promotion to the NPL at the weekend. A win would have seen them take out the league title, however a draw was enough to see them gain promotion. A win this weekend however, would be enough to claim the inaugural NPL1 title. In the Men’s State League South-East, Eastern Lions SC have all but wrapped up the title, needing only to win 1 of their past 2 games or have results go their way to become the first side promoted to NPL1. The winner of the North West conference will also gain promotion to Victoria’s 2nd tier, however it’s a close battle for the top spot, more next week.
In the NPL, Ballarat have kept their slim chances of ‘staying up’ alive with a shock 2-0 victory over Dockerty Cup winning side, Melbourne Knights. In an unusual situation, Ballarat’s hopes will be aided by having 26 minutes to play in a catch-up match that was abandoned back in round 18. The side currently lead Pascoe vale 2-0 and know if they win the match tonight, they will be out of the relegation zone. With one match remaining after that, Ballarat will just need to draw against 2nd place Oakleigh Cannons to beat the drop.
Finally, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City have had mixed results in their pre-season friendly’s played earlier this week. City remains winless for the pre season, drawing 1-1 with Central Coast in Lismore. The Victorian side took the lead in the 56th minute however a minute later, scores were level again following a Mariners penalty. Victory faired a lot better in their game against Perth winning 3-0. A double from new signing Besart Berisha helped Victory secure the win, while Gui Finkler chipped in with a goal himself. The win continues a strong patch of football for the Melbourne side, who now face Tuggeranong United in their round of 16 clash on Tuesday in the nations capital.
Image from Avondale Heights SC.