Round 3 of the Victorian NPL occurred over the weekend with another exciting round of football in the books.
Which sides have started strong out of the blocks, and which sides have underperformed in the early part of the season?
Find out below!
Dandenong City 2-1 Hume City
The third round of Victorian NPL action kicked off on Friday night in Dandenong at the Frank Holohan Soccer Complex, with Dandenong City recording a surprise victory over Hume.
The home side would waste little time breaking the deadlock, Delarno Pharoe scoring his first goal of the season in the opening minute. John Kuol would then double City’s advantage in 40th minute.
Having been shocked early, Hume pegged a goal back in the 44th minute, Josh Bingham once again striking when called up. Having now scored three goals in the opening three rounds, he’s started the 2022 NPL Men’s season hot.
With the scores 2-1 at the main break, neither side would find the net in the second half. Having been on the end of two honourable losses in the opening two rounds, Dandenong would hold on to record their first win of the season.
South Melbourne 2-0 Melbourne Knights
South Melbourne have continue its winning form, taking out the Melbourne Knights on Friday night at Lakeside Stadium.
Having scored his first goal of the season last week, South’s Pat Langlois hit the scoreboard again, scoring the opening goal of the contest via a header in the 43rd minute to put the home side 1-0 up going into the main break.
The home side would then ice the game in the 70th minute. Having scored coming off the bench to score the winner last week, Jai Ingham would do the same on Friday night.
Finishing Round Three as ladder leaders, South Melbourne are the only side to have taken maximum points from all their fixtures thus far.
Oakleigh Cannons 2-1 Dandenong Thunder
The Oakleigh Cannons and Dandenong Thunder would round out the Friday night NPL fixtures, with the Cannons edging out the Thunder at home.
Oakleigh started out of the gates strong scoring the opening goal of the game in the 5th minute. It would come from an unlikely source, defender Scott Lochhead putting his side ahead with his first goal of the season.
Lachlan Byrd would level the scores in the 27th minute, though the Thunder were unable to hold on for long with the Cannons going ahead again two minutes later.
It was the Cannon’s Joseph Knowles who’d score the go-ahead goal. Following a scoreless second half, it would prove to be the winning goal of the game.
Bentleigh Greens 1-0 Heidelberg United
Bentleigh Greens would leave it late to secure their first win of the season over strugglers Heidelberg United, with a late penalty enough for the home side to take all three points.
Ten minutes from time, United looked poised to get off the mark and record their first point of the season. But the Greens were awarded a penalty late with Pierce Waring scoring from the penalty spot.
Having been on the end of back-to-back heavy defeats in the opening two rounds of the season, it was a better showing in Round Three, but still sit on the bottom of the table without a point.
St Albans Saints 1-0 Avondale FC
The new look St Albans Saints have continued to impress in the 2022 NPL Men’s season, recording a surprise victory away from home over Avondale.
The Saints would get the early jump at Avenger Park, forward Ivan Razumic scoring the opening goal in the 17th minute, chipping Avondale keeper Rory Brian.
The early goal would the only one of the contest, the Saints holding on for an unlikely 1-0 victory.
Having recorded just two wins in 18 games before the season was suspended last year, St Albans have now recorded two wins from their opening three games, and still yet to suffer a defeat.
Port Melbourne Sharks 2-0 Green Gully
Port Melbourne Sharks recorded its first win of the season against Green Gully on Saturday evening, with the inform Gully going down 2-0.
It would be a firey contest with seven players going to the referee’s books, with Gully especially bringing in the physciality to the contest, with five players booked.
After a scoreless opening half, the Sharks would break the deadlock in the 57th minute before Port Melbourne’s Luca Tevere scored the sealing goal with a nice volley in the 80th minute.
After sharing points in their opening two games of the season, the Sharks would finally come out of a game taking all three points.
Eastern Lions 1-0 Altona Magic
Having been competitive in their opening two games, the Eastern Lions would finally get reward for effort, edging out the Magic on the road at Paisley Park.
Under lights in Altona, the away side would get the early jump with Ryan Losty scoring his first goal of the season in the 20th minute to put the Lions ahead.
Neither side would find the back of the net thereafter, with the Eastern-Melbourne outfit holding on for a valuable victory.
Image Source: Behind the Lens