2023 NPL Round 5 – Sharks v Knights

Melbourne Knights look to make it back-to-back wins when they face Port Melbourne Sharks at JL Murphy Reserve on Saturday evening (5:30pm KO).

Ben Cahn’s side picked up their first win of the new NPL Victoria campaign with a 1-0 triumph over Bentleigh Greens at Somers Street last weekend.

Gian Albano netted his second penalty in as matches both of which were won by his strike partner, Ciaran Bramwell to secure the result that leaves Knights just a point outside of the competition’s top six.

Sunday’s match also saw the Knights defence, who welcomed back Ivan Franjic keep their first clean sheet of the new campaign.

Only league leaders South Melbourne and Oakleigh Cannons (3) have conceded less goals than the Knights (4) this season.

After four games in charge Ben Cahn’s high possession and pressing brand of football is beginning to take shape with Knights leading the league in average possession, passes complete, passes into penalty area and crosses.

The challenge now for Knights who also lead the league in possession won in opposition half and speed of passes is converting their control of games into goals.

Saturday’s opponents, Port Melbourne currently sit level with Knights on the league table with five points to their name so far this campaign.

Adam Piddick’s side who finished second last season come into Saturday’s match after going down 3-2 to Green Gully in their last outing.

Saturday’s match will be the 17th NPL Victoria clash between Knights and the Sharks with Knights winning on eight occasions, Port Melbourne five while there have been three draws between the two.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s match Melbourne Knights Head Coach, Ben Cahn said he was pleased with the early progress being made by his side.

“It was great to get three points last week, building a new team takes time and there’s a process involved,” Cahn said.

“We’re making good progress, there’s a lot of good signs and the boys are working hard to keep improving to make sure we turn our dominance in to more goals and wins.

“It’s another big game. After this one, we will have played all of last year’s top three and played four of last year’s top six.

“It’s been a good challenge but we’ll be better for it as the season goes on.

“Port are a good side, Adam (Piddick) and the club have done well to build something over the last six years and last season saw the rewards for that.

“They had a great year and I’m sure they’ll be wanting to be up there again this time round.

“The boys have trained really well this week, they’re hungry, confident and motivated to get back to back wins and keep building.”

Sharks

MATCH DETAILS

NPL Victoria 2023 – Round 5: Port Melbourne Sharks v Melbourne Knights

JL Murphy Reserve, Port Melbourne

Saturday, 18 March (5:30pm KO)

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