Melbourne Knights has progressed to the quarter-finals of the Dockerty Cup, comfortably defeating Green Gully 4-1 at Knights Stadium on Tuesday night.
Goals from the experienced Antun Kovacic and youngsters Leo Athanasiou, Ivan Grgic and Nikola Srbinovski secured the victory which sets up a clash with South Melbourne for a spot in the semi-finals, and a place in the FFA Cup.
In what was a comprehensive performance by the home side, Knights rarely looked threatened – despite falling behind in just the third minute of the contest. Andy Vargas got on the end of a square ball across the face of goal, side-footing the ball past Chris May and into the net.
The Knights responded strongly though, and took just eight minutes to respond. Daniel Visevic’s well-delivered corner found Kovacic, who had no trouble directing his header on target and past Kieran Gonzalez.
Leo Athanasiou handed Knights the lead on the half hour mark. Running down the left, Shayan Alinejad squared the ball to an oncoming Athanasiou, whose powerful shot from close range was unstoppable.
After assisting the first goal, Visevic was at it again for the third just before half time. His well-delivered free kick into the area in the 41st minute forced Gully ‘keeper Gonzalez off his line in an attempt to punch the ball clear. The ball, however, fell to Grgic who headed comfortably into the open net.
Nikola Srbinovski put the result beyond doubt in the second half, heading home from another Visevic corner in the 69th minute.
— Melbourne Knights FC (@MelbKnights) June 3, 2014
It was hard to find a fault in the Knights’ performance, apart from conceding early, as every person on the pitch played the role required of them. Ben Surey, Tomislav Uskok and Athanasiou were superb in the midfield, controlling the tempo of the game. Alinejad and Visevic showed good pace and vision to create the goals, while the back four of Michael Simms, Ivan Grgic, Antun Kovacic and Nikola Srbinovski made Chris May’s night a quiet one.
The only negative to take away from the match was the forced substitution of Anthony Colosimo, who appeared to hurt his shin in a collision with an oncoming Kieran Gonzalez.
The victory takes Knights into a quarter-final showdown with South Melbourne next week. The winner will not only progress to the Dockerty Cup semi-finals but also book a place in the newly-formed national cup competition, the FFA Cup.
Melbourne Knights FC’s next game is against Ballarat Red Devils on Sunday, June 8th. Kick off at Knights Stadium is at 3pm.