The return of former Knights coach Ian Dobson to the helm of Green Gully has spelt disaster for the enterprising Melbourne Knights who have now lost their last three games on the trot.
Ivan Duzel was presented with a big selection headache early in the week when given the news that both first choice strikers, Jean Charles Dubois and Tommy Ples would be unavailable due to suspension and injury. This left makeshift forward Gazmend Ajdini the job of leading the line for the injury depleted Knights.
In a goalless first half, the Knights looked the more dangerous thanks to the efforts of Adrian Zahra in midfield and Kevin Townson up forward. Gully goalkeeper Nikola Roganovic was forced to keep the scoreline locked at 0-0 when Zahra’s effort was rocketing in towards the top corner. The young custodian expertly parried the ball past the post.
The first half ended with Gully content on absorbing the sustained Knights pressure on goal – playing some counterattacking football which was easily snuffed out by the Knights backline.
The Knights although looking much more dangerous than Gully did have a small problem. The killer pass into the 18 yard box was missing and Gully did seem to have the answers when forced to defend. A new idea or spark would need to be introduced to break the deadlock.
Dobson made some changes in the second half bringing on Gary Wales and Graham Hockless to spark their attack into life. Both combined well in the 72nd minute to put through Jonathan Munoz who shot around Knights keeper Loncaric and just on the inside of the post to give Gully a treasured 1-0 lead.
Gully did find one more opportunity to seal their win, however despite Hockless doing well to find Andy Vargas with a delicate cross, Vargas’ header went the wrong side of the Knights post.
The closing stages of the match saw Nikola Roganovic’s goal peppered with shots, crosses and half opportunities which the custodian did well in keeping out of the net to win Gully the game.
The Knights play at home again this week in the restart point of the season, Round 12. They take on an underperforming Dandenong Thunder who also need points desperately to make their climb up the ladder. Kick off is at 6pm under lights at Knights Stadium.
A.Loncaric, B.Surey, A.Bran, D.Rocco, D.Cannell, J.Magdic, K.Townson, A.Zahra, T.Skara, A.Colosimo(R.Filipovic), G.Ajdini(J.Colosimo).
N.Roganovic, S.Burton, M.Medjedovic, D.Jones, R.Ollerton, J.Fleming, J.Groenewald(G.Wales), N.Robinson(G.Hockless), M.Sanders(M.Anderson), J.Munoz, A.Vargas.