NPL preview: Doveton v Victory

Melbourne Victory will look to continue a strong run of form in the NPL 3 Victoria ahead of a trip to Doveton on Saturday.

Summary

Victory made it four games unbeaten with a 7-0 thrashing of Ballarat City last time out.

Adem Duratovic scored a hat-trick and Luca Da Silva netted a brace in the emphatic win, in which Josh Varga and Gianluca Iannucci were also on the scoresheet.

Duratovic moved onto four goals in six appearances this season to be top of Victory's goalscoring charts.

Victory also kept a second straight clean sheet, with goalkeeper Marko Bulic and his defence rarely troubled by Ballarat.

A tougher test seemingly awaits with a trip to Waratah Reserve to face Doveton on Saturday.

While Victory sits fifth on the table with 14 points from eight games, Doveton is fourth, a point ahead.

General Manager – Football Drew Sherman's pre-match thoughts

"The last few weeks have seen us string together some consistent performances and of course we were really pleased with the last game, but that's in the past and our focus is firmly on Saturday's match.

"It's the old cliche but positive momentum only comes by focusing on one game at a time and Doveton SC sit a point above us in the league, so they're a good side and will provide us a tough test. There's certainly been no complacency with the first few sessions this week. Motivation is high to take a step up the ladder, as always the energy is positive and competition to feature fierce.

"Our focus is always on ourselves and continual small improvements. We've seen a couple of clean sheets back-to-back with some continuity in personnel and of course we want to ensure it's hard to score against us again this week. Though, we also need to prove to ourselves that the threat we posed on the weekend wasn't a one off and we can back that up by creating chances and looking dangerous going forward."

This week

NPL 3 Victoria: Doveton v Melbourne Victory (Saturday, May 22 at 3.00pm AEST at Waratah Reserve, Doveton)
U21 NPL 3 Victoria: Doveton v Melbourne Victory (Saturday, May 22 at 1.00pm AEST at Waratah Reserve, Doveton)
U19 NPL 3 Victoria: Doveton v Melbourne Victory (Saturday, May 22 at 11.00am AEST at Waratah Reserve, Doveton)
U17 NPL 2: Melbourne Victory v Gippsland (Sunday, May 23 at 1.30pm AEST at Harvest Home Recreation Reserve, Melbourne)
U16 NPL 1: Pascoe Vale v Melbourne Victory (Sunday, May 23 at 1.15pm AEST at Hosken Reserve, Coburg North)
U15 NPL 3 North/West: Melbourne Victory v Heidelberg United (Sunday, May 23 at 11.45am AEST at Harvest Home Recreation Reserve, Melbourne)
U14 NPL 3 North/West: Melbourne Victory v Goulburn Valley Suns (Sunday, May 23 at 10.00am AEST at Harvest Home Recreation Reserve, Melbourne)

Last week

NPL 3 Victoria: Ballarat City 0 Victory U21s 7 (Duratovic 9'/34'/53', Da Silva 15'/31', Varga 41', Iannucci 51')
U21 NPL 3 Victoria: Ballarat City 1 Victory U19s 5 (Moric 40'/81', Di Meo 50', Hogan 52', Parish 70')
U19 NPL 3 Victoria: Ballarat City 0 Victory U17s 7 (Stamatelos 2', Ganino 24'/38', Gust 28'/34', Theodorou 64' pen, Gandhi 80')
U17 NPL 2: Berwick City 1 Victory U16s 4 (Minutoli 25', Kapaklis 30'/39', Razmovski 69')
U16 NPL 1: Victory U15s 1 (Mandic 55') Bentleigh Greens 0
U15 NPL 3 North/West: Melbourne Knights 4 Victory U14s 2 (Marmura 7'/45')
U14 NPL 3 North/West: Victory U13s 4 (Durando 10'/28'/52', Muller 26') Bendigo City 2