Round four of the Victorian NPL saw the Melbourne Knights travel to Broadmeadows-based club, Hume City FC, in their second away game out of a consecutive three. After only coming away with a point following last week’s match, the Knights were determined to bring home an on-the-road win.
For the Knights, Nikola Jurkovic returned from suspension, whereas Anthony Duzel received a red card and a 3 match suspension in last week’s match against Northcote City.
— Melbourne Knights FC (@MelbKnights) March 17, 2018
The opening ten minutes of the match saw both teams try to settle quickly and in the 12th minute a foul on Knights striker Nate Foster won the away side a set piece 20 yards from goal. Club Captain Marijan Cvitkovic placed a lovely ball just outside the 6-yard box onto the head of Kym Harris and then finally onto the head of Brody Taylor, who put the ball into the back of the net to give the Knights an early goal to take the lead.
With a goal under his belt, Taylor and the rest of the Knights 11 continued to press forward and terrorise Humes defensive structure. The best chance came in the 22nd minute when Tomislav Uskok placed a well-timed through ball onto the feet of Foster who was making a run on the parks right wing. From the corner of the 18-yard box, Foster crossed the ball onto Harris’ head, but the header was wide of the goal and narrowly missed the head of a diving Taylor.
The first booking came in the 30th minute when Hume’s Jackson Morgan tugged on the shirt of an advancing Cvitkovic. Not long after this, another long ball fired from Hume’s back third found its way to the feet of Brad Blumenthal who managed to evade Nicholas Jurcic and place a grounded cross to Atila Ofli, who fumbled the ball past Harry Cakarun and into the back of the net, giving Hume their equalizer.
Not content with just one goal, the Knights were able to go two-one up just before half time. A clearance from Cakarun was met by Harris just outside the 18-yard box, who selflessly played the ball back to Taylor and onto goal. Using only three players from end to end, the goal was a great display of teamwork which saw Brody Taylor nab a brace and saw the Knights end the half in front.
During the half time break, the cool change rolled across Melbourne and brought with it gusty winds which would prove to be a challenge for both sides in the half to follow at the open ABD Stadium complex. Only two minutes after the whistle blew, a loose ball in the corner of the 18-yard box found its way to Hume’s Nicholas Hegarty, who was then able to pass the ball onto goal, giving Hume an early second half equalizer.
The Knights replied with a third goal of their own shortly after in the 50th minute. A poorly cleared ball by Hume’s Blair Govan was collected by Cvitkovic, then back to Harris who was able to place the ball in the bottom left hand corner of the net, sending the Knights 3-2 up.
The home side were awarded their first sending off when Morgan collected his second yellow card after a needless challenge on Knights defender Tomislav Uskok. A slew of cards followed for both sides, with Knights players Taylor (54’) and Uskok (66’), and Hume’s Mitchell Trajcevski (80’) making their way into the refs book.
Hume City got their third equalizing goal of the match in the 82nd through Brad Blumenthal who was able to agonisingly slot one in past Cakarun.
In a competition marred with red cards in the opening rounds, Hume collected their second red of the match in extra time, sending them down to 9 men. Already sitting on one yellow card, Hume’s Trajcevski was awarded his second yellow and sending off due to a shove on Knights defender Nikola Jurkovic. Despite having the on-field advantage late in the match, the Knights were unable to find that fourth goal to give them all three points. The final whistle blew and the match ended square with both sides sharing the spoils.
Knights will face Bentleigh Greens away this Friday the 23rd of March, who are sitting second from the top, in what is surely to be an important match for the Knights.