A brave 8 man Melbourne Knights outfit has defeated Pascoe Vale in the first round of the 2013 Victorian Premier League. Tommy Fraser’s 87th minute free kick was enough to hand the Knights all three points in front of a crowd of over 1000 spectators. It’s the first time the Knights have won their first home game of the season since it played Parramatta Power in round 2 of the 2000/2001 NSL season.
The Knights got off to a quick start when winger Sam Torrens put a volley just over the crossbar from a Tommy Fraser corner in the second minute. Only two minutes later, Pascoe Vale could have taken the lead, as Gregory Lombardo powered a shot from just outside the box, only to be denied by Knights goalkeeper Chris May.
The Knights best chance of the first half came in the 15th minute as Sam Torrens found Anthony Colosimo in the box with a precise cross, only for the full back to put it just wide of the goal.
As the Knights continued to dominate play, Jacob Colosimo fired just wide in the 16th minute, before being denied a one on one opportunity after former Knights player Tomislav Milardovic held him back, receiving a yellow card.
An error from Ryan Sadler in the 33rd minute allowed Marijan Cvitkovic to breakthrough, however he failed to put the Knights in the lead with his shot narrowly going over the bar.
Pascoe Vales second and only chance of the first half came from a Davey van’t Schip shot in the 36th, but it failed to trouble Knights shot stopper Chris May. Shortly after Craig Sweeney was given his marching orders after receiving his second yellow card for a soft tackle on Joseph Youssef. However referee Alex Azcurra wasn’t done yet. Ben Surey was given a straight red card for retaliation, after Mark Pistininzi’s 46th minute high tackle forced Shayan Alinejad to come off with an injury.
Former Sydney FC Youth player Hassan Daramy replaced Shayan Alinejad for the second half, in a hope of giving the 9 man Knights some spark on the wings. However the only real chance for the first 15 minutes of the half came from a Davey van’t Schip volley, which went just wide of the goal in the 48th minute.
The Knights would have been content with a point as Pacoe Vale threatened in the 80th minute, when Chris May pulled off the save of the match with a quick one handed reflex save denying Daniel Chaabani in the penalty area.
Pascoe Vale substitute Jason Principato brought Marijan Cvitkovic down thirty meters from goal in the 87th minute, allowing former Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Tommy Fraser to give the Knights a 1-0 lead with a free kick perfectly placed into the top left hand corner, throwing the home fans into a frenzy.
Pascoe Vale should have snatched a point deep into injury time when Hernan Espindola blasted the ball over the bar from 5 yards out in the dying minutes. A minute later the Knights were left seeing red for the third time in the match, when Hassan Daramy was given a straight red card for a late challenge at the death.
Melbourne Knights: Chris MAY, Ryan FILIPOVIC, Adam ZILIC, Tommy FRASER, Craig SWEENEY, Jacob COLOSIMO, Marijan CVITKOVIC (91’ David KUSTURA), Anthony COLOSIMO, Ben SUREY, Shayan ALINEJAD (51’ Hassan Daramy), Sam TORRENS (70’ Joseph KONYIT)
Yellow Cards: Shayan ALINEJAD 16’ (MK), Craig SWEENEY 20’, 38’ (MK), Tommy FRASER 76 (MK), Ryan FILIPOVIC 94’ (MK), Chris MAY 96’ (MK)
Red cards: Craig SWEENEY 38’ (MK), Ben SUREY 47’ (MK), Hassan DARAMY 97’ (MK)
GOALS: Tommy Fraser 87′
Pascoe Vale: Cody LARKIN, Adrian TALARICO, Frank SERRATORE, Tomislav MILARDOVIC, Luca SANTILLI (55’ Hernan ESPINDOLA), Ryan SADLER, Joseph YOUSSEF, Gregory LOMBARDO, Davey van’t SCHIP (67’ Jason PRINCIPATO), Mark PISTININZI (57’ Marco SANTILI), Daniel CHAABANI
Yellow cards: Tomislav MILARDOVIC 20’ (PV) Davey van’t SCHIP 36 (PV), Jason PRINCIPATO 86’ (PV)
MoM: Jacob Colosimo