Melbourne Victory took on local rivals Melbourne City in the National Youth League on Saturday with both sides sharing the spoils.
Melbourne Victory 0: Spinella GK, Deng, Miskulin , Ridesic, Ansell (Stefan Nigro 45mins), Gonano, O’doherty, Katebian, Duzel , Cristaldo, Maclean (Derrick 77th).
City 0: Petreski GK, Petreski, James, Chapman, Mullett, Athanasiou, Espindola (Fadlevic 63rd), Prelevic, Rizk (Gallo 75th), Dekker, Kecojevic
There was a large turn out with Melbourne Victory fans taking the opportunity to see the best young footballers that Melbourne has to offer.
Due to first team call-ups for Kieran Dover and Christian Cavallo, Darren Davies fielded a side much younger than the opponents, however it was boosted by the return of Nick Ansell, who had been sidelined since August with a foot injury.
The match was hard fought form the beginning as neither side was able to create any clear-cut chances in the first 20 minutes, Victory’s best fell to Joseph Katebian after cutting in from the left wing his right footed drive was blocked by a City defender.
Victory’s Anthony Duzel and City’s Wade Dekker both had half chances for their sides, however the first half ended without either side creating a good chance on goal.
The second half began in much brighter fashion as both sides pushed for a breakthrough, Victory had the first chance when Katebian was put through by Fraser Maclean on a counter attack, however his shot was well blocked by City’s Andrew Mullett.
Darren Davies boys then had their tails up and moments later from a set piece Christopher Cristaldo put through a low ball that, after a Duzel dummy, made it’s way through to Katebian at the back post, however he skyed his chance.
City had their first good chance of the match in the 64th minute when Luke Prevlevic played Anthony Rizk behind the Victory defence, however the City winger was foiled first by a great Lucas Spinella save and later by the offside flag.
The remainder of the second half mirrored the first with the more experienced City side only managing one further attempt on goal through a Prevlevic long-range attempt.
The best chance of the match came later in the 87th minute, when Jordan O’Doherty managed to beat the City fullback with a roulette, he then crossed to substitute Lucas Derrick, whose jumping back heel went just wide of the far post.
In the end neither side was able to make a breakthrough as Darren Davies’ boys look ahead to the home fixture against Sydney F.C on Sunday November 23rd.