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Hard work delivers three points to the Knights

A workmanlike performance from the Melbourne Knights has resulted in a solid 2-0 win over last year’s champions, Altona Magic. Ivan Duzel’s side were fired up for the game from the get go after last week’s disappointing performance against South Melbourne.
The Knights came out with two changes in the starting eleven from last week with Daniel Rocco being replaced by Ryan Filipovic and Gazmend Ajdini taking the place of Jacob Colosimo. The first half began at high speed with counterattacking football from both sides being the order of the day. Altona struggled to make any real impact up front, although their midfield and defence were solid in keeping the scores level. Altona’s best chance of the first half came from a Cergovski free kick which was tipped over by and outstretched Loncaric. Sustained pressure from Knights wingers Adrian Zahra and Kevin Townson ensured that Altona were not in a position to over commit in going forward with the Knights enjoying much of the possession. The possession did equate to a few half chances which mostly fell to Kevin Townson who peppered Tommi Tomich’s goal, with the Altona custodian forced into making some outstretched saves to keep the score 0-0 at the interval.
For the Knights it was imperative to get all three points after last week’s disappointing performance. The second half game plan was much the same. Sustained pressure on the opposition, not giving them any space to pick the perfect killer pass and open the game. Meanwhile, Jean Charles Dubois was causing havoc for Sime Kovacevic who was forced into making some dubious fouls to keep the striker off the scoresheet.
Altona’s attention on Dubois was wasted in the end when Adrian Zahra fed the pacey striker through on the wing, with a deft cut in to Kevin Townson who couldn’t have missed if he tried. 1-0 to the Knights and the game was beginning to open up.
Altona pushed for the elusive equaliser, but the Knights towering back three of Bran, Skara and Filipovic held strong and gave keeper Ante Loncaric very little to do.
In the end though, it was the hard work of Ben Surey in the centre of the park which ensured the Knights controlled the tempo of the game which led to the second goal. A shot from Dubois was saved by Tomich which fell to Townson on the corner of the 18 yard box – the small winger trapped the ball, dribbled the keeper and two defenders to tap into an open goal. 2-0 and the Knights were well on top of the contest. Credit to Altona though, their heads didn’t drop and they kept fighting to the end and pushing for the elusive goal – but their attack proved impotent.
The win sees the Knights climb up to 8th spot out of the relegation zone and within reach of a top 5 spot.
The Knights are at home next week to the hot and cold Bentleigh Greens who had a week off coutesy to their pitch being waterlogged on Friday night against Heidelberg. Kick off is at 3pm, this Sunday the 2nd of May.

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