NPL Report: Victory continue perfect start to 2023 with Doveton win

Melbourne Victory have continued their perfect start to 2023, claiming all three points across both grades away to Doveton SC, with the U23s securing a 2-0 win in a controlled performance.


Victory came out of the blocks with intent, recording their first look at goal within the opening two minutes.

Victory’s chemistry was on display early on when Franco Lino, Austin Ganino and Jordi Valadon impressed with their quick linkup play – ending in a Ganino shot which dragged wide.

Valadon’s quality was on show when the midfielder won a free-kick 25-yards out. Victory’s number 10 picked out striker Adem Duratovic with the delivery, but his header was unable to beat Doveton’s goalkeeper.

Victory remained alert defensively despite having the majority of play. Goalkeeper Christian Siciliano was called into action for the first time 19 minutes in, tipping a long range effort over the bar.

A golden chance to take the lead came from another Valadon delivery, this time from a corner. The cross landed at Captain Ryan Lethlean who nodded to Duratovic, but he was unable to tap it into the net.

Victory broke the deadlock through Tim Athernios who made no mistake when Austin Ganino found him unmarked 6-yards out 35 minutes in.

Both sides started the second half spritely, but it was Nathan Stamatelos and Franco Lino’s interchange play on the stroke of 50 minutes which impressed the crowd. The pair combined to devastating effect, swiftly advancing the play into Victory’s attacking third, ending in a Lino cross which just evaded Duratovic.

Within three minutes of entering the action, Noah Spaseski doubled Victory’s lead. His deflected shot hit the crossbar, and bounced down and over the line to put Victory two to the good.

Victory went on to enjoy a long spell of Dominance throughout the mid-stages of the second half, nullifying Doveton’s chances and maintaining possession across the pitch.

The home side recorded their best chance of the game with 16 minutes to go, but couldn’t steer the shot at the end of the move on target.

Doveton recorded another late chance before the game entered second half stoppage time with a long range effort which flew just over Victory’s crossbar.

Victory remained confident and patient, recording a clean sheet and claiming all three points as Joe Palatsides’ side continues its perfect start to the new campaign.

Reserves Result

Doveton SC 1
Melbourne Victory 12

Next Up

Victory return home to Epping to host Ballarat City in Round 3 on Sunday April 2, with kick-off at 3:00pm AEDT.

NPL3 Victoria 2023 Round 2

Doveton SC 0
Melbourne Victory 2 (Ganino 35′, Spaseski 59′)

Melbourne Victory starting XI: 1. Christian Siciliano (GK), 19. Jack Pope, 3. Joshua Inserra, 4. Ryan Lethlean (C), 5. Franco Lino, 8. Alexander Menelaou, 10. Jordi Valadon, 12. Nathan Stamatelos 11. Timothy Athernios 9. Adem Duratovic 14. Austin Ganino