NPL wrap: Victory edged by Richmond


Melbourne Victory was edged 1-0 by Richmond in the PlayStation 4 NPL2 West on Friday night.

A first-half goal from Valli Cesnik was all that separated the teams on a cold and foggy night at Kevin Bartlett Reserve.

The visitors struggled to create clear-cut chances throughout as they slumped to defeat.

Victory head coach Gareth Naven lamented a below-par performance from his team.

“Sometimes you perform and you don’t win, but it’s about having the ability to do the simple and basic things, shape and structure and the habits they do on the ball, better most of the time, not sometimes, and all 11 players achieving that,” he said.

“Our group in the first half was disappointing in their behaviours. Don’t get into a fight with blokes. If you like losing against them, keep getting into a fight. We’re repeating the same things.

“The types of balls we’re playing, if you’re swamped by people, don’t play a ball into pressure where the guy on the ball has nowhere to go. It’s three steps forward sometimes six steps back at times and this is the youth development rollercoaster.

“How do we achieve that they don’t go back so much? How do they get ready for A-League? How do they get ready to understand the expectation required to compete against men? Sixteen-year-old, seventeen-year-old bodies but 25-year-old minds. That’s what we’re trying to achieve.

“I thought the second half we made some progress, more intensity, more people maxing out.

“In that as well, I’ve got to look at myself and think what am I doing wrong or what am I doing right or what am I doing that needs to effect them more.”

Victory had a great early chance through Nuh Sehavdic, but the forward saw his effort from close range kept out by goalkeeper Brandon Osipov.

Richmond looked the more likely for the remainder of the first half and it took a 21st-minute lead.

Cesnik managed to get on the end of a cross at the back post to tap in the opener for the hosts.

Nicholas Sette sliced an effort wide from inside the area in the 65th minute with one of Victory’s best chances.

The winger also looped a header inches wide late on as Victory was unable to find an equaliser.

Earlier, Victory’s under-20s were edged 2-1 by Richmond.

Victory is away again in Round 20, visiting Moreland City on Saturday, June 24.

PlayStation 4 NPL2 West 2017 Round 19

Richmond 1 (Valli Cesnik 21′)
Melbourne Victory 0