NPL report: Preston 0-0 Victory

Melbourne Victory extended its unbeaten run in the NPL 3 Victoria to four games with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against the Preston Lions.


In a clash between two of the four teams locked on points atop the table heading into Round 6, the spoils were shared at B.T. Connor Reserve on Friday night.

Both teams had half-chances, but neither could find a breakthrough in a scrappy and at times physical contest.

Victory made a decent start away from home, but needed a terrific block from Aaron Anderson to deny Nuh Sehavdic an eighth-minute opener.

Zaydan Bello and Jay Barnett forced saves from Preston goalkeeper Chris Theodoridis as the first half wore on.

In what was a tight first half, Bello tested Theodoridis again four minutes before the break, while Victory goalkeeper Christian Siciliano made a good save down low to deny Sehavdic.

The game looked to be opening up to begin the second half and Siciliano was forced into another stop to keep out a Sehavdic volley in the 56th minute.

Victory was also looking dangerous and Preston needed a last-ditch clearance after a Will Wilson cross.

The visitor seemed to be the more threatening, particularly on the break, but there were few opportunities in the goalless draw.

Head Coach Joe Palatsides’ post-match thoughts

“Obviously playing away from home against a really good team, it was a game that was in the balance for a long period of time, but I think it probably could’ve gone either way in terms of a result. I thought our players held the ball really well in some crucial moments and we could take a bit of pressure off us by keeping possession. The chances at either end were pretty much shared so it could’ve gone either way, but I thought we grounded out a really good result, even though we didn’t win and we wanted to win, we grounded out a good result away from home against a really good team. It was really good to see we kept our first clean sheet of the year which I think is a step forward as well. It was a really gritty performance and I think sometimes you don’t always play the most attractive type of football, but you still have to ground out and be able to ground out a good result away from home. I think we did that tonight.”

NPL 3 Victoria 2022 Round 6
Preston Lions 0
Melbourne Victory U23s 0

Melbourne Victory U23s: Christian Siciliano (gk); Zaydan Bello (c), Aaron Anderson, Ryan Lethlean, Jackson Lino; Jay Barnett, Luka Prso; Lleyton Brooks, Will Wilson, James Paneras; Binyam Kebede.