Heidelberg United FC is hosting a Greek derby against Oakleigh Cannons in their round (Rd) 19 NPL clash on Saturday in its last home match of the season before the Olympic Village facility undergoes extensive renovations and an upgrade.
The Cannons got the better of the Bergers in their earlier encounter in Rd 6 at Jack Edwards Reserve thanks to goals from English imports Harry White and Joe Guest.
Undefeated in their last eight league matches, both Guest and White have emerged as key players for Chris Taylor’s team this season. Cannons’ forward Wade Dekker has also chimed in scoring late winners in the Cannons’ last two matches against Kingston City and Altona Magic, and propelled them into the top six (after sixth placed Knights received a three point penalty deduction because of a disturbance arising from its FFA Cup tie against South Melbourne recently).
Saturday’s derby against the third placed Bergers is the first of three challenging matches for the Cannons, preceding two home matches against second placed Bentleigh Greens and a resurgent Dandenong City laden with a wealth of A-League experience.
In other Rd 19 matches, mid-table neighbours Port Melbourne Sharks and South Melbourne who are both close behind the Cannons, also harbour hopes of a place in the top six at the end of the season.
Last week the Sharks dropped two league points by relinquishing a two goal lead against a 10 man Green Gully in a match which finished 3-3. Sharks coach Adam Piddick will be hoping for a more consistent performance from his team this week when they host Melbourne Knights on Saturday.
On Sunday, South fans will be expecting an improved performance from the one that saw the Lakesiders lose 2-0 at home to bottom of the table Kingston City last week. South hosts another relegation threatened team in Pascoe Vale.
Relegation threatened Kingston City’s win over South last week was just its third of the season and its second in four games, lifting it off the bottom of the table ahead of fellow strugglers Dandenong Thunder. This Saturday, the Reds will be hoping to pick up additional precious points in its bid to climb away from the automatic relegation spots when it travels to Altona Magic.
In NPL 2 action this weekend, third placed NPL 2 East team Northcote City will be aiming for a fourth win in a row when it visits mid-table Geelong SC in a cross conference fixture on Saturday. Last week City accounted for Langwarrin 2-0 in coach Peter Tsolakis’ last game in charge before going overseas for a couple of months. Goals to Anthony Rizk and Noah Mihailidis gave the home team three valuable points.
In other matches this weekend, mid-table Brunswick City travels to the Veneto Club on Saturday to take on Melbourne City whilst Box Hill United hosts Ballarat City on Sunday.