Round 13 saw the Knights begin a 3-match away circuit, first up facing opponents Dandenong Thunder SC on a frosty Saturday night. In what was tipped to be a tight matchup between 8th & 9th place, the Thunder were able to capitalise early and set the tone for the match.
Both teams were presented with an array of chances in the first half, however, frustratingly for Knights fans, a firm Thunder defence managed to keep the Knights at bay for the entirety of the match.
Late into the 8th minute, Tomislav Uskok was able to slot a ball to the feet of AJ Inia who was advancing toward goal from the right wing. Inia was able to cross a low ball in front of goal, narrowly avoiding Nate Foster who was caught-out standing flat footed whilst waiting to receive the pass.
Shortly after, the home side went 1-0 up after a lengthy cross from just before mid-field found its way to Hamish Millar, who was able to bound past Timmy Purcell and comfortably put the ball behind Jordan Gifkins and into goal, giving the home side an early advantage.
Another ‘could-have-been’ moment for the Knights came in the 29th minute when Luke Jurcic, who has been an extremely consistent performer this season, launched a well-placed cross in to the 18-yard box to Brody Taylor. The shot was ultimately blocked by a well-placed Frazer Maclaren giving his side a reprieve from imminent danger.
The Knight’s best chance to score came right before half time when Luke Jurcic again threatended by threading a pass onto Brody Taylor, nutmegging Thunders’ Brandon Barnes in the process. Taylor fired a shot on goal which sailed past Maclaren but lady luck was unfortunately not in attendence on the night, as the shot hit the far post and rebounded out of goal.
Unluckily for the Knights, the second half began in the worst way possible with a penalty being awarded to the home side only 30 seconds in, after Brody Taylor clipped Theodore Markelis’ heels as he made a run into the box. Thunder’s key striker Brandon Barnes stepped up to the spot for his side, converting to give the Thunder a two-nil lead.
The remaining 44 minutes saw the Knights try to edge back into the back to no avail. The match ended with all three points going to the home side, much to the disappointment of some frosty Knights fans.
The Knights have now played against every team in the league, giving the side some valuable insight into all their opponents. Next week sees the side travel to the home of Oakleigh Cannons FC for round 14, who the Knights were able to emphatically beat all the way back in round 1.