The last time Heidelberg United met south Melbourne FC was a fateful match for both teams, as it ended Heidelberg’s 2016 finals campaign and transported South into a Grand Final which was ultimately successful. It’s also a match that Bergers’ midfielder Reuben Way would rather forget as it was his red card late in the first half which turned the match in South’s favour after the Bergers led through an early goal. South recovered and the rest is history.
Saturday evening brings the old foes face to face once again at the Olympic Village, and it also marks the return of Reuben Way to the Bergers’ line up following suspension.
Both teams have been under-performing this season, and have struggled to find the net despite having two of last season’s top marksmen in their ranks, Kenny Athiu for the Bergers and Milos Lujic for South. The Bergers forward stocks will receive a much needed shot in the arm with the return of Way and also Adrian Zahra from injury, whilst South coach Chris Taylor is also expected to make personnel and tactical changes following two successive defeats.
It’s a match both teams and both coaches dearly love to win, and if last year’s three matches between the two teams are anything to go by, fans can expect to see a result.
The match kicks off at 7.30 pm at Olympic Village.
Another big Rd 4 NPL 1 match up on Saturday is the Hume City v Bentleigh Greens match at ABD stadium, which pits third against second. Last week, the Greens surprisingly suffered a rare home loss when they lowered their colours to Melbourne Knights in a 3-1 defeat after scoring first through an early Ross Honos goal. Last week they sorely missed a suspended Ross Archibald in defence.
On Sunday afternoon, 10th placed Oakleigh Cannons hosts surprise league leaders Avondale FC. Last week the Cannons were fortunate to come away from the Sharks with a scoreless draw thanks in no small part to the heroics of keeper John Honos and central defender Aaron Wilford. They host an Avondale side which has yet to concede a goal this season.
NPL 2 Round 5 action today sees another Greek derby at John Cain Reserve following last week’s thrilling injury time 2-1 win by Northcote City over Brunswick City. This week league leader Northcote City hosts undefeated Box Hill United which has drawn all four games this season. At least it broke its goal drought last week, scoring for the first time this season in a 1-1 home draw against Dandenong Thunder.
Brunswick City will be hoping to bounce back from its dramatic loss away to Northcote last week, when it travels to Nunawading City today.