Melbourne Knights continued a strong start to the season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Northcote City at Knights Stadium on Friday night.
After a goalless first half, striker Andrew Barisic broke the deadlock less than 15 seconds into the second period. Northcote were not switched on from the kick off and Barisic pounced to win the ball before executing a precise finish past Chris Theodoridis.
Knights captain Tomislav Uskok then sealed the result with 20 minutes remaining. The commanding central midfielder played a defence-splitting pass to Alex Dao, whose deep cross was headed behind. Dao whipped the resulting corner in and Uskok jumped above the pack to steer home a powerful header.
Andrew Marth’s side were unlucky not to have taken the lead in the first half, as it was the men in red, white and blue who created all the chances while goalkeeper Chris May had precious little to do at the other end of the pitch.
Barisic nearly opened the scoring on ten minutes as he broke into the box before hitting a left foot missile past the diving Theodoridis- but only into the side netting.
Knights looked for all money to go ahead in the 22nd minute as a through ball released Barisic down the right wing. Adrian Zahra made an untracked run into the middle and was picked out by the striker, only to see his shot saved from point-blank range.
After Barisic’s goal, the Knights never looked too troubled. Marino Gasparis was the visitors’ main threat and his long distance shot in the 54th minute went wayward.
Zahra again came close to his first goal for the Club soon after as he pressured his defender to win the ball in the penalty area, but could not direct a quick toe-poke either side of Theodoridis.
Uskok made it 2-0 and more spaces started to open up for the dangerous Knights on the counter. Stipo Andrijasevic so nearly made it three in the 82nd minute as he cut onto his right foot and let rip a 30-yard screamer that look destined for the corner, only for Theodoridis to brilliantly tip it around the post.
The Knights were dominant and controlled the affair almost from start to finish, cruising to a convincing victory.