PS4 NPL Victoria Preview: Round 13

Fifth plays fourth on Friday night as Port Melbourne and Melbourne Knights battle to assert their place in the top six, and secure finals football.

The mid-season registration window is now open. Players who have completed their registrations prior to 5.00pm on Wednesday, May 14 are eligible to play in this round.

View daily updates on movements in the transfer window here.


Port Melbourne Sharks v Melbourne Knights
8.15pm, Friday, May 15, 2015
JL Murphy Reserve, Port Melbourne
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, ‪#‎PMvMK ‪#‎PS4NPLVIC

Last round:
Green Gully 1 - 2 Port Melbourne
Melbourne Knights 1 - 0 Pascoe Vale


Port Melbourne has had a strong fortnight, securing a draw with ladder leaders South Melbourne, and defeating a struggling Green Gully last week. There could be a couple of new faces in the squads, with Port Melbourne signing former Dandenong Thunder midfielder Alan Mulcahy. The Irishman will be a boost to Eric Vassiliadis' midfield as he looks to strengthen his stocks.

Meanwhile, goalscoring phenomenon Robbie Zadworny could make his first appearance for the Knights since moving across from North Geelong Warriors. The forward already has six goals to his name, and will prove a handful for Port Melbourne with some of the service that Knights are capable of providing.

But how Andrew Marth accommodates the striker will be telling; there could be goals, and lots of them, if Zadworny is half as deadly as he has been for the Warriors.


Pascoe Vale v Hume City
8.30pm, Friday, May 15, 2015
CB Smith Reserve, Fawkner
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, ‪#‎PVvHC #PS4NPLVIC

Last round:
Melbourne Knights 1 - 0 Pascoe Vale
Hume City 1 - 1 Heidelberg United


Are Hume's goalscoring woes over? Will the team that has promised so much this season finally deliver? On the first day of the transfer window, Louie Acevski brought in two strikers in Theo Markelis and Paul Harvey.

While Markelis is an unfulfilled talent thus far, Harvey is a proven goalscorer at this level. He had a solid season last year with Bulleen and then Ballarat, but the journeyman took a step back into the state leagues this season before joining Hume. If is fires, Hume could easily solidify its spot as a finals contender.

Meanwhile, Pascoe Vale sits just one spot below Hume, and one spot outside finals, in seventh. Only three points separate the sides, and this could prove a six-pointer come the end of the season.


Oakleigh Cannons v Bentleigh Greens
8.30pm, Friday, May 15, 2015
Jack Edwards Reserve, Oakleigh
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #OCvBG #PS4NPLVIC

Last round:
Werribee City 2 - 1 Oakleigh Cannons
Bentleigh Greens 4 - 0 Northcote City


Bentleigh is well and truly back after its slip up against Ballarat in the Westfield FFA Cup. Since that fateful day, the focus for Johnny Anastasiadis' boys has been purely on the league, and the last month has been perfect.

Five wins from five leaves Bentleigh in second spot with a game in hand behind South Melbourne. 

Meanwhile, Oakleigh was also in the midst of a resurgence until last week's loss to Werribee City - the Bees' first win of the year. Oakleigh was also quick to move in the transfer window, picking up former Wellington Phoenix and Sydney United striker Mirjan Pavlovic on the first day.

But despite everything that's been written, this is a special clash and a big rivalry in Victorian football - throw the form book out the window for this one.


Avondale FC v Green Gully
3.00pm, Saturday, May 16, 2015
Avondale Heights Reserve, Avondale Heights
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #AFCvGG #PS4NPLVIC

Last round:
South Melbourne 1 – 0 Avondale FC
Green Gully 1 - 2 Port Melbourne


Six losses on the trot and Green Gully has slipped to 11th spot on the ladder, just above the relegation zone. Gully is just one point away from having to play off for its survival, and three points away from automatic relegation.

Bob Stojcevski needs a solution and fast, and right now, he's hoping it's new signing Liam Boland who has joined from Oakleigh. Gully plays an Avondale FC side that has looked solid, despite two losses on the trot.

Avondale will finally have had a chance to rest after three games in seven days last week. The newly-promoted side sits in eighth and could well make a push for finals in the second half of the season.

Anthony Barbieri has yet to make any moves in the transfer window, but at the same time, he has had a solid team to work with this year. Consistency could be the key for Avondale on Saturday afternoon.


North Geelong Warriors v Werribee City
3.00pm, Saturday, May 16, 2015
Elcho Park, Lara
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, ‪#‎NGWvWC #PS4NPLVIC

Last round:
Dandenong Thunder 1 - 1 North Geelong Warriors
Werribee City 2 – 1 Oakleigh Cannons


This is the biggest six-pointer of the round. Bottom-placed North Geelong plays second-from-bottom Werribee City.

The hosts have ground out two draws in a row, including one against Heidelberg United two weeks ago, but they'll now have to make do without Robbie Zadworny. To replace him, Micky Colina's called up Yusuf Yusuf from St Albans Saints. Yusuf has big shoes to fill, with Zadworny a mainstay in the North Geelong side for more than half a decade.

Werribee comes into this match off the back of its first win of the season, defeating Oakleigh Cannons 2-1 last week. They're still a win away from safety, and this game against North Geelong could go a long way to getting the Bees out of trouble.


Northcote City v South Melbourne
3.00pm, Saturday, May 16, 2015
John Cain Memorial Park, Northcote
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, ‪#‎NCvSM #PS4NPLVIC

Last round:
Bentleigh Greens 4 - 0 Northcote City
South Melbourne 5 – 0 Dandenong Thunder


It's the third game in a little over a week for South Melbourne, having defeated Avondale on Friday night, and it comfortably dispatched Dandenong Thunder on Tuesday night. But will fatigue be a factor for South Melbourne?

How Chris Taylor is forced to alter his side on Sunday will be interesting, but Northcote has problems of its own. Goran Lozanovski still can't find any consistency. Despite two decent 2-0 wins over lower-table sides in the last month, Northcote has also suffered two heavy defeats to Bentleigh and Dandenong Thunder.

But this is as good a chance as any for Lozanovski to tap into his youthful side and get a win over what could be a jaded South Melbourne side. Both these sides have had little movement in the transfer market thus far.


Dandenong Thunder v Heidelberg United
7.00pm, Saturday, May 16, 2015
George Andrews Reserve, Dandenong
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, ‪#‎DTvHU #PS4NPLVIC

Last round:
Hume City 1 - 1 Heidelberg United
South Melbourne 5 - 0 Dandenong Thunder


*NB: This game has been moved to accommodate for the A-League Grand Final.

Despite two draws in its last two games, Heidelberg United is still undefeated since its third game of the season. It has slipped from the top of the table to third, but George Katsakis' boys have still been playing good football.

In order to stay in touch with the top two, Heidelberg will need a win here against a Dandenong Thunder side that has shown it has potential. Thunder will be tired as this will be its third game in a week. Midweek, Dandenong was run off the park by South Melbourne.

But it wasn't reflective of the side that destroyed Northcote City three weeks ago, or even the one that drew 1-1 with North Geelong. It currently sits in the playoff relegation spot and needs just a point to get out of it. If that point can come against a solid Heidelberg side, Stuart Munro and his youngsters will be well placed for the second half of the season.


Keep up-to-date with all the NPL Victoria news, video, features and more via the official website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.