NPL report: Victory 3-2 Doveton

Melbourne Victory made it three straight wins in the NPL 3 Victoria, edging Doveton 3-2 on Saturday.


Jay Barnett put Victory ahead at Epping Stadium before Rinor Muriqi’s equaliser just before half-time.

However, Zaydan Bello and Adem Duratovic struck after the interval and Victory held on despite a late goal from Adam Hester.

The win continued Victory’s strong start to the season, marking its third win in five games.

After an even start, Victory opened the scoring through Barnett in the 12th minute

Kasper Hallam was released into space down the right and his cross found Barnett, who put a first-time finish into the top corner.

Doveton built into the contest and Victory needed a desperate clearance from Jackson Lino after a scramble in the area just before the half-hour mark.

Victory threatened again in the 31st minute as Binyam Kebede was just unable to get on the end of Will Wilson’s cross from the left.

A minute later and Victory goalkeeper Christian Siciliano was called into action, making a good low save to deny Damien Miskulin.

But Doveton equalised prior to the break as Muriqi converted from close range after Siciliano made a good stop to keep out a Liam McCormick strike.

However, just two minutes into the second half and Victory restored its lead as captain Bello struck.

A goal from Duratovic, who came off the bench, extended Victory’s lead and it held on despite Hester’s late strike.

Head Coach Joe Palatsides’ post-match thoughts

“Really good performance I thought. We went into an early lead and I thought we controlled the game for quite a good portion of that and that was always nice to see, that we can be in control of a football game. We fell away towards the back half of the first half and it just shows that if you lose focus and not pay attention to detail for the whole 45 minutes you get punished and that’s what Doveton did to us in the last minute of the first half and they equalised. We had to regroup in the dressing rooms at half-time and I thought the boys came out and showed a bit more energy in the second half and we created some really good chances which we were fortunate enough to finish a couple of those chances. I think the good thing was we could create quite a few and we put on a good show towards the end. It was very much a deserved victory.”

NPL 3 Victoria 2022 Round 5
Melbourne Victory U23s 3
(Jay Barnett 12′, Zaydan Bello 46′, Adem Duratovic 84′)
Doveton 2
(Rinor Muriqi 42′, Adam Hester 90+2′)

Melbourne Victory U23s: Christian Siciliano (gk); Zaydan Bello (c), Aaron Anderson, Ryan Lethlean, Jackson Lino; Jay Barnett, Luka Prso (Alexander Menelaou); Kasper Hallam, Will Wilson (Adem Duratovic), James Paneras (Anthony Leban); Binyam Kebede (Franco Lino).