NPL Victoria Round 23 Preview: Green Gully V Melbourne Knights

Melbourne Knights travel to Green Gully Reserve this Saturday to face (you guessed it) Green Gully in our NPL Victoria Match of the Round. Gully, who are experiencing a resurgence to their season since defeating Avondale FC 3 weeks ago, will be looking to hold on to 4th place, and the shot at a home final. The Knights on the other hand will be looking to keep their challenge for finals football alive, currently within touching distance of the top six.

Here’s all the information you need to know before this weekends clash between the 2 former NSL clubs.

Last time they met

Gully and Knights faced off in round ten of NPL Victoria, where the Knights claimed a 2-1, come from behind victory at Knights Stadium. Goals from Hamish Watson and Tommy Uskok sealed victory for the Knights late on, cancelling Tim Purcell’s early goal.

Both teams went into the clash with only a point separating them in third and fourth, with the victory pushing Knights within a point of second place, and dropping Gully out of the top 6. However, fortunes have turned for both clubs in the league ever since, with Gully sitting comfortably in the finalse race in fourth place, whilst Knights are lingering just outside of the finals in sevenths place after recieving a three point deduction for poor crowd behaviour, but only 2 points separating them and sixth place Oakleigh.

Players to watch

Green Gully striker Alex Salmon is currently leading the league for goal, with 22 goals in as many games for Gully. The Englishman is has made a name for himself this season as being a big game player, scoring against all teams in the top 6 this season aside from Heidelberg United, and will look to continue this form against the Knights.

Melbourne Knights striker Hamish Watson has enjoyed a great start to life as an NPL footballer, scoring 10 league goals this season, and is a big reason the Knights are currently still with a shot of finals. The former Wellington Phoenix player has also enjoyed fine form in the FFA Cup and Dockerty cup, scoring 10 goals in 5 matches, and has been instrumental in the clubs cup success this season.

Notable Former Players

Former Socceroo Tommy Cumming made the switch Melbourne Croatia to Green Gully in 1985. The Scottish born striker originally made his debut for Sunshine City in 1976, before making the move to Essendon Croatia in 1978, where he won the State League title in 1978 and 1979. When the club was allowed entry into the National Soccer League in 1984, Cummings was player/coach for Croatia (now known as Melbourne Croatia), where he lead the club to the 1984 NSL Cup final. In 1985, Cummings transferred to Gully, and finished his career as a part of the final squads to represent the club on the national stage.

Prediction

Melbourne Knights to win the match 3-2. Knights are currently in good form, and have momentum after an undefeated run over the past month. Gully will put up a fight, but the push for finals football will get the Knights over line.

Written by Lachlan Spiteri

Photo Credit: NPL Victoria