The Melbourne Knights have returned to the winner’s circle after a convincing 2-0 defeat of the Bentleigh Greens at Knights Stadium on Friday evening.
After suffering their first defeat of the season last week, Micky Colina made 2 changes to his starting line-up.
Luke Jurcic returned to the defence in place of Tom Podaridis and Anthony Duzel slotted back into midfield after serving his one match suspension.
— Melbourne Knights FC (@MelbKnights) March 8, 2019
The Knights got off to the perfect start as they took the game to the highly fancied Bentleigh side who were undefeated prior to the game.
Some sharp work by Albano down the left hand side saw him put in a great ball into the area but Watson couldn’t get onto the end of it.
Opportunities continued to come for the Knights in the opening 30 minutes of the game as Tomislav Uskok’s long range effort was the pick of the bunch but was expertly denied by Ryan Scott.
Despite being severely out played, Bentleigh managed a few chances of their own and were denied by the cross bar after Josh Barresi played a neat pass to George Lambadaridis on the edge of the area but the woodwork came to the rescue for the home side.
Just before the half time break, the Knights high tempo pressing game paid dividends.
Anthony Duzel smartly intercepted a poor pass by Tyson Holmes and his precise through ball was met by a first-time finish by Hamish Watson leaving Scott with no chance and giving the Knights a much deserved 1-0 lead.
However, Bentleigh would feel as though they should have headed into the interval on level pegging after impressive winger Valentino Yuel finally found some space behind Jurcic but his effort skimmed off the cross bar and the Knights would remain in the lead going into the half time break.
The second half began much the way the first 45 minutes did and it was the Knights who would have a majority of the possession and playing free flowing attacking football.
Albano should have doubled the Knights lead when he found plenty of space in the Bentleigh penalty area but couldn’t find the target.
Watson who was having a field day up front for the Knights was denied by a superb double save from Scott only minutes later.
As the rain began to trickle down at Knights Stadium in the 70th minute a great interception in the middle of the park by Uskok saw him make a majestic run through the middle of the pitch and slot through a great pass into the path of Watson who made no mistake on the edge of the area scoring his 5th goal of the season and giving his side a 2-0 lead.
The Knights would see out the game without any real threat from the Bentleigh side and would record their first clean sheet of the season and climb to 3rd spot on the table.
The Knights now travel to sister club Dandenong City for the first Croatian derby of the season at Frank Holohan Reserve next Friday at 8:30pm.
Melbourne Knights 2
(Watson 42’, 72’)
Bentleigh Greens 0
Melbourne Knights: 1. Harry Cakarun, 2. Luke Jurcic, 6. Tomislav Uskok, 8. Gian Albano (AJ Inia 83’), 9. Hamish Watson, 10. Marijan Cvitkovic (Ivan Grgic 76’), 11. Nikola Jurkovic,, 12. Corey Sewell, 13. Ayden Brice, 19. Anthony Duzel, 27. Joseph Franjic
Bentleigh Greens: 1. Scott, 11. Xydias, 5. Webster, 14. Jankovic, 2. Crooks, 10. Holmes, 7. Barresi, 8. Lambadaridis, 15. Yuel, 18. Thurtell, 23. Mitrovic.