Victory too strong for Northcote in NPL opener


Melbourne Victory’s maiden PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria match went to plan after it scored late to defeat Northcote City 1-0 at Epping Stadium on Saturday.

The goal came from the ever reliable Joey Katebian with 15 minutes remaining, who carefully picked his spot before sending Kieran Dover’s pinpoint cross into the bottom corner of the net.

Victory settled well in the opening stages and was content to dictate the pace of the game.

It was Northcote which got off the match’s first shot in anger after some neat lead-up work led to Aaron Ward forcing Lucas Spinella into a low save to his right.

Victory eventually brought the Northcote rearguard into action, with Katebian’s sizzling shot drawing a catch from his opposition goalkeeper.

Melbourne’s front third began sustaining the pressure, creating a series of half-chances in a 10-minute period.

John Maclean’s tricky footwork nearly contributed to the game’s opening goal, when he swung in a delightful ball from the right to Howard, who failed to keep his volley down.

Soon after centre-back Matt Hennessey rose high to send a headed effort shy of the mark, in what proved to be the final chance of the opening stanza.

Victory continued where it left off after the restart, giving City a real fright when its goalkeeper Phillip Petrovski could only parry a corner onto his own crossbar.

Kieran Dover had the host’s next opportunity, after positioning himself perfectly at the back post. Unfortunately for him, his header from Howard’s cross glided just wide of the upright.

The miss had no bearing on the final result, as the captain stepped up to seal the result.

Melbourne will be looking to make it two straight wins to the start the season when it faces Port Melbourne at JL Murphy Reserve on Friday, February 26.

Victory’s under-20 team also scored a first-up win, defeating Northcote City 3-0.


Melbourne Victory 1 (Katebian 76′)
Northcote City 0


Melbourne Victory 3 (McNamara 14′, Cavallo 34′, McGilp 69′)
Northcote City 0