Melbourne Victory’s two match unbeaten streak and NPL2 West season came to an end at the hands of St Albans Saints at Churchill Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
In a free-flowing affair both sides traded attacks early but neither were able to breakthrough, with the Victory defence in particular holding tight.
Melbourne Victory then opened the scoring in the 17th minute courtesy of a tidy Nishan Vellupillay finish following a superb counter-attack.
The lead didn’t last long however after St Albans levelled the score in the 29th minute. Branko Skocic produced a brilliant close-range save to force a corner but was unable to deal with the resulting ball.
St Albans then took the lead in the 32nd minute after Victory failed to clear a scramble in the box. The home side continued to pepper the goals for the remainder of the first half but retained only a one-goal lead at the break.
The Saints continued to attack into the second half but the Victory defence repelled any attacking moves.
Victory themselves pushed for an equaliser deep into injury time but couldn’t quite make the most of any attacking opportunities.
The match finished 2-1 with St Albans securing promotion to the NPL Victoria top division for next season.
NPL2 West 2019 Round 28
St Albans Saints 2 (Joseph Monek 29′, Jordan Wilkes 32′)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Nishan Vellupillay 17′)
Melbourne Victory: Branko Skocic (gk); Aaron Anderson, Jay Barnett, Liston Diaz, Ryan Lethlean, Jack Morton, So Nishikawa (c), Yazid Said, William Wilson, Zaydan Bello, Nishan Vellupillay.
Melbourne Victory Under 20s enjoyed a 7-1 win over the St Albans U20s to finish the season on top of the table. The side recorded 20 wins, 4 draws and 4 losses in 2019.